In Wyeth, Inc. v. Gottlieb, 2006 WL 335602 (Fla.App. 3 Dist.), Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal reversed the trial court’s certification of a Prempro (conjugated estrogen and progestin) medical monitoring class. The court of appeal focused upon the “highly individualistic” nature of causation determination, which depended on individual characteristics and risk factors of the claimant, the dosage, the duration of consumption, other medications being taken, and knowledge of risks. The court also found that these considerations required individual customization of any medical monitoring plan. The evolution in what Wyeth knew, and warned about, over a 10-year period also strongly militated against class certification.
Corkern v. Outback Steakhouse of Florida, Inc., 2006 WL 285994 (E.D. La.) provides a nice summary of how federal courts analyze the amount in controversy in removed diversity jurisdiction cases where the plaintiff does not plead a specific damage amount in his state court pleading. Since Louisiana procedural law generally precludes pleading a specific damage amount, this is the standard scenario these days.
The court noted the jurisprudential rule that once a case has been removed on diversity grounds, the court may give effect to a post-removal affidavit or stipulation by the plaintiff, certifying that his claim is less than the requisite jurisdictional amount, ONLY IF “the amount in controversy is ambiguous at the time of removal.” Judge Vance held that if the injuries claimed in the petition make it “facially apparent” that the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000, there is no “ambiguity” which can be clarified by a post-removal filing.