does not satisfy the amount in controversy requirement for several reasons.
Plaintiff has no standing to assert claims on behalf of Coalition 349 or its individual members. As the supreme Court has concluded, "the plaintiff generally must assert his own legal rights and interests, and cannot rest his claim to relief on the legal rights or interests of third parties." Warth v. Seldin, 422 U.S. 490, 499, 95 S. Ct. 2197, 2205, 45 L. Ed. 2d 343 (1975) See also, In re Application of Dow Jones & Co., 842 F.2d 603, 606 (2d Cir. 1988), cert. denied, 488 U.S. 946, 109 S. Ct. 377, 102 L. Ed. 2d 365 (1988).
The present complaint asserts only plaintiff's individual claim, and the court reviews that claim to determine if it meets the $ 50,000 amount in controversy requirement.
The complaint does not allege the value of plaintiff's own claim. PepsiCo notes that, according to one newspaper article, plaintiff "holds a 1-million-peso bottle cap." See Aff. of Chester J. Hinshaw in Supp. of Mot. to Dismiss, Exh. B. PepsiCo says one million Pesos were worth $ 41,528 on December 16, 1994, the day plaintiff filed this action, see Zacharia v. Harbor Island Spa, Inc., 684 F.2d 199, 202 (2d Cir. 1982) (amount in controversy determined as of time action is commenced).
But according to plaintiff's counsel, plaintiff "holds 30 [bottle caps] in his own name worth P1,000,000 each for a total value of P30,000,000, or $ 1,245,840." See Pl.'s Mem. in Opp. to Mot. to Dismiss.
PepsiCo submits an earlier affidavit from plaintiff, in which he stated that "these  caps were previously owned by my children and some were given to me by friends and relatives." See Hinshaw Reply Aff., Exh. A (Del Fierro Aff., P 6). Under Philippine law plaintiff does not own the right to commence or maintain an action based on bottle caps given to him, unless the transferors of those caps have assigned the right of action through public, properly notarized instruments. See Reply Aff. of Alexander J. Poblador in Supp. of Mot. to Dismiss, P 4 (citing Article 1625 of the Civil Code of the Philippines (Republic Act No. 386, as amended )).
PepsiCo thus argues, and the court agrees, that without producing evidence of properly executed assignments plaintiff cannot count caps given to him after the number "349" was selected to satisfy the amount in controversy requirement.
Plaintiff's complaint also seeks moral and exemplary damages in the amount of $ 1,000,000, apparently on behalf of plaintiff and the "several thousands" of Coalition 349 members. The court cannot determine with certainty what amount of punitive damages plaintiff seeks on his own behalf. But even assuming that there are only 2,000 members of Coalition 349 (the lowest possible estimate of the "several thousands" claimed by plaintiff), the court concludes that plaintiff's punitive damages claim would amount to no more than $ 500 for each member. Thus plaintiff has not established that his claim meets the $ 50,000 jurisdictional minimum.
Plaintiff's counsel says that he intended to bring this action on behalf of a class of bottle cap holders in the Philippines, and that he forgot to check the class action box on the cover sheet. But the complaint does not mention that it is intended as a class action, nor does it allege the requisite elements of a class under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23. In particular, the complaint fails to allege that each member of the purported class meets the amount in controversy requirement.
Moreover, the court is reluctant to grant leave to amend the complaint to plead a class action. The court is concerned about, among other things, potential problems of proof as to the amount in controversy. PepsiCo has submitted an article from the May 1995 edition of the Coalition 349 newsletter titled "Joint Claims Needed to Fit with US Suit." The article advises members of Coalition 349 that
Joint claims may have to be forged within claimants to fit within the requirement of the US court as mentioned in the move of PepsiCo to dismiss te [sic] claims.