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 (Opinion corrected on 7/13/2017. Incorrect issuance date on opinion.)--[Edited 07/13/2017 by JRP]

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Case: 17-10341 Date Filed: 07/13/2017 Page: 1 of 2 [DO NOT PUBLISH] IN THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE ELEVENTH CIRCUIT ________________________ No. 17-10341 Non-Argument Calendar ________________________ D.C. Docket No. 6:14-cv-00950-CEM-KRS REX D. HILL, Plaintiff - Appellant, versus 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. PER CURIAM: 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 Case: 17-10341 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. AFFIRMED. 2

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