In Aguirre v. Capital One Bank USA N.A., No. 8:23-cv-00128-FWS-JDE, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 105188, at *7 (C.D. Cal. June 15, 2023), Judge Slaughter kept the case in federal court under CAFA removal based on the defendant’s guess-timate of damages.

Defendant argues it has put forth reasonable assumptions demonstrating each Plaintiff’s recovery exceeds $75,000, based on an estimate of $8,494 in economic damages, $77,500 in emotional distress damages, and $85,994 in punitive damages per Plaintiff. (Opp. at 5-15.) After reviewing the parties’ briefing and the Notice of Removal, the court finds Defendant’s calculations of the amount in controversy are based on reasonable assumptions. First, as to economic damages related to the data breach, Defendant argues the parties in the related MDL proceeding are seeking $8,494 per class member and that figure represents a reasonable estimate of the economic damages here based on the same harm. (Opp. at 7-8.) Defendant further argues that figure represents a reasonable estimate of the economic damages in this case because Plaintiffs in this case and the MDL proceeding both seek damages related to the cost of credit monitoring. (Opp. at 7.) The court finds Defendant’s estimate is reasonable because it is based on estimated damages in a related case. See Darrough v. SOC LLC, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 36901, 2021 WL 725159, at *1 (D. Nev. Jan. 28, 2021) (considering a damages estimate in an “expert report submitted by [a party’s] expert in a related case” in calculating the amount in controversy).  Second, as to emotional distress damages, Defendant argues plaintiffs in other credit breach actions have recovered emotional distress damages exceeding $75,000. (Opp. at 8-11.) Plaintiffs in this case seek emotional distress damages based on “substantial and ongoing emotional distress, which has sometimes manifested in physical symptoms, as a result of the data breaches.” (Dkt. 1-1 (“Compl.”) ¶ 22.) The court finds Defendant’s estimate that emotional  distress damages could exceed $75,000 is reasonable based on emotional distress damages awarded in similar data breach cases. See Drew v. Equifax Info. Servs., LLC, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 131643, 2010 WL 5022466, at *9 (N.D. Cal. Dec. 3, 2010) (upholding $315,000 in emotional distress damages); Sloane v. Equifax Info. Servs., LLC, 510 F.3d 495, 507 (4th Cir. 2007) (awarding $150,000 in emotional distress damages). Third, as to punitive damages, Defendant argues Plaintiffs are seeking punitive damages and even a 1-1 ratio between compensatory and punitive damages would be a “conservative” estimate for punitive damages. (Opp. at 11-15.) The court finds Defendant’s estimate that if punitive damages are imposed based on economic damages of $8,494 and emotional distress damages of at least $75,000, a 1-1 ratio of compensatory to punitive damages would result in punitive damages exceeding $75,000. See Guillen v. Kindred Healthcare Operating, Inc., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 38458, 2018 WL 1183354, at *5 (C.D. Cal. Mar. 7, 2018) (“District courts within the Ninth Circuit have described a 1:1 ratio of punitive damages to compensatory damages as ‘conservative’ for purposes of assessing the amount in controversy requirement.”). The court therefore concludes Defendant has met its burden to put forth reasonable assumptions that each Plaintiff’s recovery exceeds $75,000, and that among the 118 Plaintiffs, the total amount in controversy would be exceed $8,000,000, or CAFA’s jurisdictional requirement of $5,000,000. Accordingly, the Motion is DENIED and the stay in this action is LIFTED. Based on its review of the record, the court also DENIES Plaintiffs’ request for attorneys’ fees because the court finds insufficient support for Plaintiffs’ argument that Defendant lacked an “objectively reasonable basis for removing the case.” (Mot. at 14.) See 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c) (“An order remanding the case may require payment of just costs and any actual expenses, including attorney fees, incurred as a result of the removal.”).