Clough v. Capital SeniorCare Ventures LLC et al
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)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
CINDY CLOUGH, as personal
representative of the Estate of Joyce Lee
Vinson, deceased, and on behalf of the
wrongful death beneficiaries of Joyce
VENTURES LLC, et al.
The jurisdictional issue raised by the pleadings and motion
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
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.
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