JOHN J HOAG v. ACE AMERICAN INSURANCE COMPANY

Filing 10

ORDER DENYING re 8 MOTION to Remand to State Court and Plaintiff's Motion for Attorney's Fees and Cost filed by JOHN J HOAG. Clerk to set matter for telephone status conference to determine appropriate deadlines. Signed by SENIOR JUDGE MAURICE M PAUL on 11/25/2008. (jws) (Copy to CRD)

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Page 1 of 2 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF FLORIDA GAINESVILLE DIVISION JOHN J HOAG, Plaintiff, v. ACE AMERICAN INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendant. ___________________________/ ORDER This matter is before the Court on Doc. 8, Motion to Remand to State Court and for Attorney's Fees and Cost by John J Hoag. The Defendant has responded, Doc. 9. For the reasons given below, the motion to remand is denied. In the Complaint, the Plaintiff alleges the existence of an Occupational Accident Plan issued by the defendant which provided Full Occupational Coverage to, among others, Plaintiff. Plaintiff also alleges total disability due to an accident (Complaint 9), past and future medical expenses (Complaint 10), and entitlement to attorney's fees under 627.48. Attorney's fees under Fla. Stat. 627.48 must be included when computing the amount in controversy in a diversity jurisdiction case under 28 U.S.C. 1332. See Cohen v. Office Depot, Inc., 204 F.3d 1069, 1079 (11th Cir. 2000)(approving the contention that "when a statutory cause of action entitles a party to recover reasonable attorney fees, the amount in controversy includes consideration of the amount of those fees"). The Court agrees with the Defendant that even though the total disability benefits may be topped out at $52,000, the potential medical expenses and attorney's fees make it more likely than not that the amount in controversy will exceed CASE NO. 1:08-cv-00172-MP-AK Page 2 of 2 $75,000. Accordingly, diversity jurisdiction is proper under 28 U.S.C. 1332, and it is hereby ORDERED AND ADJUDGED: The motion to remand, doc. 8, is denied. The Clerk is directed to set this matter for a telephone status conference to determine appropriate deadlines. DONE AND ORDERED this 25th day of November, 2008 s/Maurice M. Paul Maurice M. Paul, Senior District Judge Case No: 1:08-cv-00172-MP-AK

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