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Each Plaintiff in Diversity Class Action Must Have $75,000 at Stake
Description Tenth Circuit upheld dismissal for lack of jurisdiction of suit by various sugar beet growers who claimed that sugar processor had cheated them. Only one grower asserted losses of at least $75,000. The sum claimed by each grower could not be added together to meet the amount-in-controversy requirement.
Topic Court Procedure
Key Words Class Action; Amount in Controversy
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts A group of sugar beet growers in Wyoming sued Western Sugar for allegedly cheating them in the way Western credited them for the amount of sugar each of the growers delivered. The district court dismissed the suit because each grower in the class did not have at least $75,000 at stake. Growers appealed.
Decision Affirmed. Each plaintiff in a diversity-based class action must meet the $75,000 amount-in-controversy requirement. Only one plaintiff in the class met this sum, so the class action fails for lack of jurisdiction. Each plaintiff has a specific sum at stake, so those claims must be brought in state court.
Citation Leonhardt v. Western Sugar Co., 160 F.3d 631 (10th Cir., 1998)

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