LaPlant v. The Northwestern Mutual Life Ins. Co.

Federal 7th Circuit Court
Civil Court
Class Action
Case Number: 
No. 12-3264
Decision Date: 
November 28, 2012
Federal District: 
E.D. Wisc.
Vacated and remanded
Dist. Ct. erred in granting plaintiff’s motion to remand to state court breach of annuity contract class action that had been removed by defendant-insurance company to federal court under Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA). While Dist. Ct. believed “internal affairs” exception to removal under section 453(d) of CAFA applied because it deemed any dispute concerning policies issued by mutual insurer related to insurer’s internal affairs, Ct. of Appeals found that section 453(d) did not apply since instant dispute was contract and insurance law matter that did not pertain to defendant’s internal affairs. Ct. further found that Dist. Ct. erred in striking down choice-of-law provisions in instant contracts where Wisc. courts routinely enforced them. It also directed Dist. Ct. on remand to determine whether nationwide class action on issue of damages is appropriate given fact that 45% of instant 36,000 policies had choice-of-law clauses requiring application of law in class members’ home states.