Davis v. Johnson Controls, Inc. et al
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Plaintiffs Motion for Remand (ECF No. 13) is GRANTED. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that this case is REMANDED to the Circuit Court of the County of St. Louis, State of Missouri. An appropriate Order of Remand will accompany this order. 13 Signed by Honorable Jean C. Hamilton on 1/4/12. (CLA)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
ALLEN J. DAVIS,
JOHNSON CONTROLS, et al.,
Case No. 4:11CV1869 JCH
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
This matter is before the Court on Plaintiff’s Motion for Remand (ECF No. 13), filed
November 17, 2011. This matter is fully briefed and is ready for disposition.
Plaintiff, a resident of Missouri, originally brought this action in the Circuit Court of the
County of St. Louis, Missouri, on September 23, 2011. (Notice of Removal, ECF No. 1, ¶ 1). On
September 28, 2011, Defendant Johnson Controls, Inc. (“JCI”) was served with Plaintiff’s Petition,
wherein Plaintiff asserted claims against (1) Defendant JCI, a Wisconsin corporation with its principal
place of business in the State of Wisconsin, (2) Defendants Kelly Short, Renee Maroney, and Joseph
Vallero, all employees of Defendant JCI and residents of Missouri, and (3) Defendants John Doe
Corporation, John Doe Property Owner, and John Doe Property Management Company. (Id., ¶¶ 1,
6-8; First Amended Petition (“Am. Pet.”), ECF No. 5, Count I, ¶¶ 3-5). Defendant JCI removed this
action to this Court on October 27, 2011, claiming fraudulent joinder of Defendants Short, Maroney,
and Vallero, and diversity jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1332 and 1441. (Notice of Removal,
¶¶ 3, 6-8).
In his First Amended Petition, Plaintiff alleged that he sustained injuries to his neck, back,
right shoulder, and right elbow after slipping and falling on snow and ice located on Defendant JCI’s
premises. (Am. Pet., Count I, ¶¶ 15-17). Plaintiff alleged he and his co-workers repeatedly
complained to Defendants Short, Maroney, and Vallero regarding the unsafe condition on the
premises prior to Plaintiff’s fall, and that all three individual Defendants and Defendant JCI failed to
correct the dangerous condition of the premises. (Am. Pet., Count I, ¶¶ 14, 19, 20). Plaintiff also
alleged Defendant John Doe Corporation, Defendant John Doe Property Owner, and Defendant John
Doe Property Management Company failed in their respective duties to clear snow and ice from the
property. (Am. Pet., Counts II-IV).
On December 2, 2011, this Court entered an Order permitting Plaintiff to file a Second
Amended Complaint naming BSR Services, Inc. (“BSR”); Realty Associates Advisors LLC (“RAA”);
The Realty Associates Fund VII, L.P. (“RAF”); Sansone Group/DDR LLC (“SG”); and Sansone
Group, Inc. (“SGI”), as Defendants and dismissing John Doe Corporation, John Doe Property
Owner, and John Doe Property Management Company as Defendants. (Order, ECF No. 20; Second
Amended Complaint (“Sec. Am. Comp.”), ECF No. 22). Defendants BSR, RAA, RAF, SG, and SGI
have all been served with Plaintiff’s Second Amended Complaint. (See ECF Nos. 25-27, 35-36).
Defendants BSR, SG, and SGI are all citizens of Missouri, while Defendant RAA is a citizen of
Massachusetts and Defendant RAF is a citizen of New Jersey (Motion to Remand, ¶ 18).
“It is well settled that on a Motion to Remand, the burden of establishing federal subject
jurisdiction lies with the removing party.” Rolwing v. NRM Corp., 2005 WL 1828813, at *2 (E.D.
Mo. Aug. 2, 2005), citing In re Business Men’s Assur. Co. of America, 992 F.2d 181, 183 (8th Cir.
1991). The amount in controversy requirement of diversity jurisdiction is strictly construed, and all
doubts concerning federal jurisdiction are resolved in favor of remand. Id. (citations omitted).
Pursuant to 1332(a), “[t]he district courts shall have original jurisdiction of all civil actions
where the matter in controversy exceeds the sum or value of $75,000, exclusive of interest and costs,
and is between . . . citizens of different States[.]” 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a)(1). “Complete diversity of
citizenship exists where no different holds citizenship in the same state where any plaintiff holds
citizenship.” In re Prempro Products Liability Litigation, 591 F.3d 613, 620 (8th Cir. 2010) (quoting
OnePoint Solutions, LLC v. Borchert, 486 F.3d 342, 347 (8th Cir. 2007)). Under § 1332(c)(1), “a
corporation shall be deemed to be a citizen of any State by which it has been incorporated and of the
State where it has its principal place of business[.]”
Since the Court has permitted Plaintiff to amend his complaint to include three Missouri
residents as defendants, complete diversity of citizenship no longer exists in this lawsuit.1 Therefore,
this Court no longer has subject matter jurisdiction over this matter under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1332 and
1441. Since subject matter jurisdiction is lacking, the Court will remand this case to the Circuit Court
for the County of St. Louis, Missouri. See 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c) (“If at any time before final judgment
it appears that the district court lacks subject matter jurisdiction, the case shall be remanded.”); see
also Atlas Van Lines, Inc. v. Poplar Bluff Transfer Co., 209 F.3d 1064, 1066-67 (8th Cir. 2000).
The Court does not address the issue of the purportedly fraudulent joinder of Defendants
Short, Maroney, and Vallero, as alleged by Defendant JCI in its Notice of Removal.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Plaintiff’s Motion for Remand (ECF No. 13) is
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that this case is REMANDED to the Circuit Court of the
County of St. Louis, State of Missouri. An appropriate Order of Remand will accompany this order.
4th day of January, 2012.
/s/Jean C. Hamilton
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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