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U.S. Supreme Court

Should Mississippi AG’s suit against LCD makers be heard in state court? SCOTUS to decide

Posted Sep 18, 2013 6:25 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments Nov. 6 in a case filed by Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood against the makers of LCD screens.

Hood claims the companies engaged in price fixing, resulting in higher prices that are illegal under Mississippi consumer protection law. The issue is whether the defendants can remove the state court lawsuit to federal court under provisions of the Class Action Fairness Act, report the Mississippi Business Journal, the Associated Press and SCOTUSblog, which posted documents in the case here.

Hood filed the suit in Mississippi’s name, acting as parens patriae on behalf of state residents. The defendants, on the other hand, claim the suit may be heard in federal court because the plaintiffs are the people of Mississippi.

The Class Action Fairness Act, intended to fight abuses in the class action process, allows removal to federal court of “mass actions” involving 100 or more plaintiffs with common legal claims, SCOTUSblog explains.

Mississippi argues that applying the statute to permit removal interferes with states’ sovereign powers under the Tenth Amendment, SCOTUSblog says. The case is Mississippi v. AU Optronics Corp.

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