Threatt v. Jasenauskas et al
OPINION AND ORDER denying 23 Motion to Remand to State Court. Signed by Judge William S. Duffey, Jr on 4/20/2016. (anc)
On March 31, 2015, Plaintiff filed her Complaint in the State Court of
DeKalb County, Georgia. Plaintiff seeks to recover $23,800 in past medical
expenses, and future medical expenses in excess of $498,900. (Compl. at 4).
Plaintiff also seeks unspecified amounts for lost wages and loss of earning
capacity, and pain, suffering and mental anguish. (Id.).
On May 21, 2015, Atlantic and National (together, “Removing
Defendants”)1 removed the DeKalb County Action to this Court based on diversity
jurisdiction. (Notice of Removal ). Removing Defendants assert that Atlantic is
incorporated, and has its principal place of business, in Illinois, and thus is a citizen
of Illinois. (Id. ¶ 7). They assert also that National is incorporated in Wisconsin,
and has its principal place of business in Arizona, and thus is a citizen of
Wisconsin and Arizona. (Id. ¶ 8). Removing Defendants contend that complete
diversity exists among the parties because Plaintiff is a citizen of Georgia,
Jasenauskas and Atlantic are citizens of Illinois, and National is a citizen of
Wisconsin and Arizona. (Id. ¶¶ 4-8). Removing Defendants argue further that the
amount in controversy exceeds $75,000 because in her Complaint, Plaintiff seeks
to recover past and future medical expenses totaling over $522,700. (Id. ¶ 9).
Jasenauskas did not join in removal and has not otherwise participated in
this action. It is not clear whether Jasenauskas has been served with the Summons
On December 3, 2015, Plaintiff filed her Motion to Remand. Removing
Defendants did not respond to Plaintiff’s Motion. Although it is deemed
unopposed, see LR 7.1(B), NDGa., the Court still must determine whether remand
is appropriate in this case.
28 U.S.C. § 1441(a) provides that “any civil action brought in a State court
of which the district courts of the United States have original jurisdiction, may be
removed by the defendant.” The Court’s jurisdiction in this case is premised on
diversity of citizenship, which authorizes federal jurisdiction over suits between
citizens of different states where the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000.
28 U.S.C. § 1332(a). It is undisputed that Plaintiff and Defendants are citizens of
different states, but Plaintiff contends that the jurisdictional amount in controversy
is not satisfied.
In her Motion to Remand, Plaintiff asserts that, because she “has decided
that she will not undergo those [future] medical procedures” “which accounted for
the amount of projected future medical expenses” alleged in the Complaint,
Plaintiff now “agrees that she will not be entitled to Judgment greater than
$74,750.” (Br. in Supp. [23.1] at 2-3). Because “Plaintiff and her counsel hereby
irrevocably agree in this litigation . . . that [P]laintiff’s claim and recovery is
limited to an amount no greater than $74,750,” Plaintiff asserts, the jurisdictional
amount in controversy is no longer satisfied and this action should be remanded to
the State Court of DeKalb County. The Court disagrees.
In an action removed from state court, the amount in controversy is
measured on the date of removal. The Burt Co. v. Clarendon Nat’l Ins. Co.,
385 F. App’x 892, 894 (11th Cir. 2010). Thus, “events occurring after removal,
such as the post-removal amendment of a complaint . . . which may reduce the
damages recoverable below the amount in controversy requirement, do not divest
the district court of jurisdiction.” Id. (citing Poore v. Am.-Amicable Life Ins. Co.
of Tex., 218 F.3d 1287, 1290-91 (11th Cir. 2000) overruled in part on other
grounds by Alvarez v. Uniroyal Tire Co., 508 F.3d 639, 640-41 (11th Cir. 2007)).
Plaintiff’s post-removal offer to limit the amount of damages she may recover is
not a basis for remand.
It is clear from the face of Plaintiff’s Complaint that, at the time of removal,
Plaintiff sought to recover over $522,700, well beyond the jurisdictional threshold
amount. Because Plaintiff and Defendants are citizens of different states and, at
the time of removal, the amount in controversy exceeded $75,000, the Court has
subject matter jurisdiction over this action. See 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a). Plaintiff’s
Motion to Remand is required to be denied.
For the foregoing reasons,
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Plaintiff Sonya Threatt’s Motion to
Remand  is DENIED.
SO ORDERED this 20th day of April, 2016.
WILLIAM S. DUFFEY, JR.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?