Liskow & Lewis’ Shannon Holtzman, James Brown, and A’Dair Flynt recently secured several key rulings in a putative class action, successfully opposing a complex remand motion under the Tax Injunction Act and the Class Action Fairness Act (“CAFA”) and obtaining a dismissal with prejudice of the claims against Liskow’s clients in Robert J. Caluda, APLC, et al v. The City of New Orleans, Linebarger, Goggan, Blair & Sampson, L.L.P, and United Governmental Services of Louisiana, Inc., No. 19-2497, 2019 WL 3283138, 2019 WL 3291014 (E.D. La. July 22, 2019).
The Caluda Plaintiffs filed suit on behalf of a putative class of taxpayers who paid penalties on delinquent personal property taxes. The suit was a second attempt to obtain class relief on behalf of personal property taxpayers after those claimants were excluded from the class in a class action also defended by Liskow in Fransen v. City of New Orleans, et al., 2018 WL 1516989 (La. App. 4th Cir. Mar. 28, 2018) (affirming certification that reduced the requested class by more than two thirds).
Liskow removed the Caluda class action invoking subject matter jurisdiction under federal question and the Class Action Fairness Act (“CAFA”). Thereafter, Liskow successfully opposed the Plaintiffs’ efforts to remand under the Tax Injunction Act and several CAFA exceptions. Robert J. Caluda, APLC, et al v. The City of New Orleans, et al, No. 19-2497, 2019 WL 3283138 (E.D. La. July 22, 2019). The Court found that the Tax Injunction Act was limited to the Plaintiffs’ claims against the City, which the Court severed and remanded while retaining jurisdiction as to the class claims against Linebarger and UGSL. Id. at *4-5. In addition to finding that Liskow’s removal satisfied federal question jurisdiction, the Court found that the removal satisfied the requirements of CAFA and the Court accepted Liskow’s arguments against the application of CAFA’s local controversy and home state exceptions and CAFA’s governmental entity exclusion. Id. at *6-11.
Liskow also prevailed on its Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, securing a dismissal of all claims against Linebarger and UGSL with prejudice. Robert J. Caluda, APLC, et al v. The City of New Orleans, et al, No. 19-2497, 2019 WL 3291014 (E.D. La. July 22, 2019).
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