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Judge Invokes Cartoon |In Refusal To Remand

CHICAGO (CN) - A class action against AIG Marketing will remain in federal court despite a last-minute swap in defendants, the 7th Circuit ruled. Judge Posner said remanding would effectively allow plaintiffs to "sue Donald Duck" and amend the complaint to substitute a proper defendant who would not be able to remove.

Posner said the lead plaintiff "sued the wrong party and knew who the right party was, yet neither dropped the wrong party from the case nor added the right one as a defendant."

Thomas Springman waited nearly three years to substitute the correct defendant, AIG Marketing, for the defendant in his original complaint, AIG Claims Services. AIG Marketing was the company that had handled his claim. The complaint accuses AIG Marketing of routinely underpaying accident insurance claims.

But before Springman amended the class action, Congress passed the Class Action Fairness Act, which expanded the type of cases that could be removed to federal court.

The original lawsuit would have fallen under state jurisdiction, but the amended complaint falls under federal jurisdiction, so AIG Marketing successfully moved for removal.

The 7th Circuit affirmed denial of plaintiffs' request to send it back to state court.

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