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61 Food & Drug L.J. 561 (2006)
The Class Action Fairness Act of 2005: Changing the Class Action Landscape Circuit by Circuit

handle is hein.journals/foodlj61 and id is 585 raw text is: The Class Action Fairness Act of 2005: Changing the
Class Action Landscape Circuit by Circuit
The pharmaceutical industry has had more than its share of major class action suits
over the past decade. Consumers have received compensation through class action
lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies for a range of alleged unsafe practices. In
2002, for example, Aventis, BASF, Daiichi Pharmaceutical, Roche, and Takeda Chemical
Industries agreed to pay $19.6 million to settle price-fixing claims brought in a class
action suit in a Massachusetts state court. A class action lawsuit against American
Home Products (now Wyeth) was settled when the company agreed to provide medical
monitoring to millions of consumers who had used its anti-obesity drug, Redux.
The pharmaceutical industry lobbied Congress for years to pass some sort of tort
reform. Its prayers were answered with the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 (CAFA).
CAFA will make it difficult, the industry reasoned, for plaintiffs to get their class actions
certified in federal courts, due to the prohibitive cost associated with federal suits, and,
of course, the tendency of federal judges to apply state laws conservatively would act
as a deterrent for plaintiffs ever so eager to file class actions in notoriously plaintiff
friendly venues like Madison County, Illinois.
Since the passage of CAFA, seasoned class action practioners have had more than
18 months to understand and comprehend it. CAFA has undoubtly made fuidamental
changes to the class action landscape and gradually its impact is becoming clear through
various court decisions. CAFA is only in its second year, and hence it will take a few
more years before plaintiffs and defendants fine-tune their strategies. This article reviews
some of the prominent court decisions interpreting CAFA.
On February 18, 2005, President Bush signed CAFA into law.1 CAFA's key provi-
sions expand federal court jurisdiction over class actions involving interstate commerce
and mandates judicial review of class action settlements involving the issuance of
In enacting CAFA, Congress sought to address abuses in class action cases.
According to the Findings and Purposes section of CAFA, abuses in class actions
undermine the national judicial system, the free flow of interstate commerce, and the
concept of diversity jurisdiction as intended by the framers of the United States Con-
stitution, in that state and local courts are:
a) keeping cases of national importance out of federal court;
b) sometimes acting in ways that demonstrate bias against out-of-state defendants;
c) making judgments that impose their view of the law on other states and bind the
rights of the residents of those states.'
Mr. Talati is an Associate at Amin Law, Chicago, IL where he practices Food and Drug law.
Pub. L. 109-2, 119 Stat. 4 (2005).
2 Pub. L. 109-2, § 2.

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