Rex Hill v. Allianz Life Insurance Company
Opinion issued by court as to Appellant Rex D. Hill. Decision: Affirmed. Opinion type: Non-Published. Opinion method: Per Curiam. The opinion is also available through the Court's Opinions page at this link http://www.ca11.uscourts.gov/opinions. (Opinion corrected on 7/13/2017. Incorrect issuance date on opinion.)--[Edited 07/13/2017 by JRP]
Date Filed: 07/13/2017
Page: 1 of 2
[DO NOT PUBLISH]
IN THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE ELEVENTH CIRCUIT
D.C. Docket No. 6:14-cv-00950-CEM-KRS
REX D. HILL,
Plaintiff - Appellant,
ALLIANZ LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY OF NORTH AMERICA,
Defendant - Appellee.
Appeal from the United States District Court
for the Middle District of Florida
(July 13, 2017)
Before WILSON, JORDAN, and ROSENBAUM, Circuit Judges.
Rex Hill, alleging damages less than $75,000, sued Allianz Life Insurance in
state court for defamation. A little more than a year later he moved to amend his
Date Filed: 07/13/2017
Page: 2 of 2
complaint to allege damages greater than $75,000. Allianz in turn removed the
action to district court based on diversity jurisdiction. Seeking remand, Hill argued
to the district court that the amount-in-controversy requirement for diversity
jurisdiction was not satisfied and that 28 U.S.C. § 1446(c) barred removal since he
commenced the action in state court more than a year before the removal. The
district court rejected both arguments. It concluded that (1) Allianz’s removal
documents established that more than $75,000 was in controversy and (2) 28
U.S.C. § 1446(c)’s one-year period for removal was inapplicable because Hill, in
bad faith, concealed information about his alleged damages. The parties then
proceeded to discovery, after which the district court entered summary judgment
for Allianz. Hill’s defamation claim is time barred, the district court held, and
even if the claim is timely, it fails based on the doctrine of invited defamation.
Hill now appeals, asserting that the district court lacked jurisdiction and that
it erred in granting summary judgment. After careful consideration of the record
and the parties’ briefs, we affirm substantially for the reasons set forth by the
district court in its orders.
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