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High court rules for insurer in class-action suit

WASHINGTON — A unanimous Supreme Court has rejected efforts by a plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit to keep his claim in state court rather than more business-friendly federal court by limiting the amount of money sought to under $5 million.

The justices on Tuesday threw out a federal appeals court ruling in favor of an Arkansas homeowner who sued his insurer, the Standard Fire Insurance Co. of Hartford, Conn., over the cost of repairing hail damage.

Justice Stephen Breyer said for the high court that the homeowner could not bind all others who might join the lawsuit to the $5 million limit. A 2005 federal law allows defendants to transfer class actions involving more than $5 million to federal court.