Sika Investments, LLC v. RLI Corporation et al
ORDER REMANDING CASE TO STATE COURT. IT IS ORDERED that 19 MOTION to Remand is hereby granted, and this case shall be remanded to the 24th Judicial District Court for the Parish of Jefferson. Signed by Judge Martin L.C. Feldman on 11/17/2020.(cwa) (Additional attachment(s) added on 11/17/2020: # 1 Transmittal Letter) (cwa).
Case 2:20-cv-02074-MLCF-MBN Document 70 Filed 11/17/20 Page 1 of 2
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA
SIKA INVESTMENTS, LLC
RLI CORP. d/b/a MT. HAWLEY
INSURANCE COMPANY, ET AL.
This lawsuit involves a commercial property owner’s claim
that either its insurer owes coverage for business interruption
and extra expenses triggered by government stay-at-home orders due
to the COVID-19 pandemic or, alternatively, that its insurance
agents and brokers wrongfully failed to secure the requisite
The threshold matter of this Court’s subject matter
jurisdiction is at issue.
To assist the Court in resolving the removal-jurisdiction
quagmire exposed by the briefing on various motions bearing on the
See Order dtd. 11/9/20.
In response, the
removing party, Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC, concedes that the
issues raised by the Court support a finding that the Court lacks
Case 2:20-cv-02074-MLCF-MBN Document 70 Filed 11/17/20 Page 2 of 2
removal jurisdiction; Marsh thus filed a Notice of Consent to
For the reasons provided in the plaintiff’s motion to remand
and related briefing, the Court’s Order dated November 9, 2020,
and Marsh’s Notice of Consent, the Court finds that it lacks
subject matter jurisdiction and, accordingly, IT IS ORDERED: that
Sika Investments, LLC’s motion to remand is hereby GRANTED. 1
case shall be remanded to the 24th Judicial District Court for the
Parish of Jefferson.
New Orleans, Louisiana, November 17, 2020
MARTIN L. C. FELDMAN
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
The plaintiff’s request for attorney’s fees and costs incurred
as a result of removal is DENIED.
Marsh predicated removal on
diversity jurisdiction, which necessitated an improper joinder
inquiry, which in turn revealed to the Court (but not the parties)
that the common defense rule appeared to be triggered. That the
Court issued an eight-page briefing order directed to determining
the issue of jurisdiction after the parties had extensively briefed
the issue demonstrates the thorny procedural issues exposed by
this particular removal. Under the circumstances, the plaintiff
fails to persuade the Court that it should be awarded attorney’s
fees or costs due to improvident removal under 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c).
See Martin v. Franklin Capital Corp., 546 U.S. 132, 141 (2005)
(“Absent unusual circumstances, courts may award attorney's fees
under § 1447(c) only
objectively reasonable basis for seeking removal.”).
cannot find that Marsh lacked an objectively reasonable basis for
removal, particularly where, as here, counsel offered reasonable
arguments indicating that the plaintiff may have no plausible claim
against any of the defendants sued in state court.
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