Stillwater Property and Casualty Insurance Company v Xuan Hong et al
MEMORANDUM Order Signed by the Honorable Milton I. Shadur on 2/13/2017:Mailed notice(clw, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
STILLWATER PROPERTY AND
CASUALTY INSURANCE COMPANY,
XUAN HONG, PEI HONG and
Case No. 16 C 9613
Stillwater Property and Casualty Insurance Company ("Stillwater") has filed this
Complaint for Declaratory Judgment against its insureds Xuan Hong and Pei Hong (collectively
"Hongs") and Adela Cuevas ("Cuevas"), seeking to invoke federal subject matter jurisdiction in
diversity-of-citizenship terms. Complaint ¶ 4 alleges that Cuevas has filed a personal injury
action against Hongs in the Circuit Court of Cook County, asserting that she was the victim of a
dog bite by Hong's German Shepherd.
But quite apart from disclosing that their client Stillwater gets an "F" grade in spelling
(its policy refers to the dog's breed as "Sheperd"), its counsel's Complaint discloses that they or
their client (or both) failed the requirement of due diligence by alleging this as to the requisite
amount in controversy (Complaint ¶5):
On information and belief, the amount in controversy in said personal injury
lawsuit is in excess of $75,000.00.
But all that Cuevas' Circuit Court Complaint alleged, other than adverting to her having
sustained "severe injuries," was that the amount sought in the lawsuit was "a dollar amount
sufficient to satisfy the jurisdictional limits of this Court" -- and though the quite different
jurisdictional limits of this federal court might have created a belief that more than $75,000 was
in controversy, as to information an inquiry directed to the Hongs before filing suit would have
revealed, as their Answer ¶ 6 stated:
Defendants deny the allegations contained in this paragraph and further state the
Plaintiff in the underlying case, Adela Cuevas, has made a written demand to
settle her claim in the amount of $35,000.
Haste makes waste, and a lawsuit that fails to check out the basis for a party's allegation
of information as well as a statement of its belief has resulted here in the payment of a wasted
$400 filing fee. This action must be and is dismissed sua sponte for the lack of federal subject
Milton I. Shadur
Senior United States District Judge
Date: February 13, 2017
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