Addison Automatics, Inc. v. Hartford Casualty Ins. Co.

Federal 7th Circuit Court
Civil Court
Class Action
Case Number: 
No. 13-2729
Decision Date: 
October 2, 2013
Federal District: 
N.D. Ill., E. Div.
Reversed and remanded
Dist. Ct. erred in granting plaintiff’s motion to remand to state court plaintiff’s action seeking declaration that defendant-insurance company owed insured duty to defend and indemnify in underlying class action lawsuit that assessed $18 million judgment against insured in claim under Telephone Consumer Protection Act, where instant declaratory judgment action had been removed to federal court. Although plaintiff, which was class representative in underlying action, alleged in instant action that it was suing defendant on its own behalf, plaintiff had standing to pursue instant declaratory judgment action only in its capacity as class representative. Thus, instant action was in substance class action that was otherwise eligible for removal under Class Action Fairness Act. Ct. further noted that, due to plaintiff’s status as class representative in underlying action, it still owed continuing fiduciary obligation to class regardless of whether it sued defendant in its individual or representative capacity.