The Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) provides forfederal district courts to have jurisdiction over class actions in which, among other things, the matter in controversy exceeds $5 million in sum or value. Robert Rodriguez filed a putative class action in state court, claiming unpaid wages and overtime. The employer removed the case to federal district court under CAFA. Rodriguez responded by "waiving" -- on behalf of the class -- all damages in excess of $5 million. So the district court remanded the case to state court, citing a lack of the jurisdictional amount required by CAFA.
Prior to a class being certified, the putative class representative has no authority to legally bind the other members of the proposed class. So this "waiver" is not a waiver.
In this case there is still an issue as to whether the aggregate of all claims will be over $5 million, so the case goes back to district court to determine that. And the standard of proof on that issue is a preponderance of evidence. [Essentially, this overrules Lowdermilk v. US Bank, 479 F3d 994 (2007), which required the party seeking removal to prove with “legal certainty” that the amount in controversy is satisfied.]