Clough v. Capital SeniorCare Ventures LLC et al

Filing 46

ORDER granting 36 Motion to Remand. Column's motion to dismiss remains pending for State-court resolution. Clough's request for attorney's fees is denied. Signed by Judge D. P. Marshall Jr. on 4/5/13. (kpr)

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-------··~-- IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS WESTERN DIVISION CINDY CLOUGH, as personal representative of the Estate of Joyce Lee Vinson, deceased, and on behalf of the wrongful death beneficiaries of Joyce Lee Vinson PLrNTIFF No. 4:13-cv-93-DPM v. CAPITAL SENIORCARE VENTURES LLC, et al. !I DEFENDANTS ! ORDER t, I The jurisdictional issue raised by the pleadings and motion remand in this case is identical to one the Court recently decided in the Slater case. The Court therefore adopts its reasoning. Subject-matter jurisdiction where federal law is embedded in state-law claims is reserved for those cases where the federal question is "not only a contested ... issue, but a substantial one[.]" Grable & Sons Metal Products, Inc. v. Darue Engineerin~ & Manufacturing, 545 U.S. 308, 313 (2005). This is a narrow g~te. Central Iowa Power Coop. v. Midwest Independent Transmiss~on System Operator, Inc., 561 F.3d 904, 912 (8th Cir. 2009). 11he complaint here is a basket of state-law issues: negligence, medifal malpractice, and civil conspiracy. The alleged state-law tprt beneath the civil-conspiracy claim is a bit murky. It does lot appear [Clough] is alleging that HUD and Medicare funds w re obtained improperly; [Clough] has not alleged fraud. Docum mt No. 41, at 5. Instead, she alleges that the Defendants conspire1to intentionally underfund the nursing homes, leading to foreseea le injuries. Ibid. The substantive measure of Defendants' allege , ly wrongful conduct will turn on what Defendants did with the federal money and why, not how they got it. Compare Ga ing Corp. of America v. Dorsey & Whitney, 88 F.3d 536, 551 (8th ir. 1996). That HUD or Medicare provided those funds is incide11tal. No big federal-law dispute exists about that predicate fact. And Defendants' belated argument about the negligence claim isl as [Clough] notes, more about a defense than a claim. ResolvinJ all doubts in favor of remand to preserve the congression,lly approved balance between state and federal judi~ial responsibilities, Central Iowa Power Coop., 561 F.3d at 912, 1ny federal issues present are not disputed enough or substantial enough to support federal-question jurisdiction. Slater v. Capital SeniorCare Ventures, LLC., et al., 5:12-cv-447-DPM, Document No. 46 (E.D. Ark. 4 April 2013). Motion to remand, Document No. 36, granted. Column's otion to dismiss remains pending for State-court resolution. Clough's re · uest for attorney's fees is denied; the jurisdictional argument was made in g ' od faith. So Ordered. -2-

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