SEJDIU et al v. TARGET CORPORATION et al
OPINION. Signed by Judge William J. Martini on 4/19/17. (gh, )
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
ARDIANA SEJDIU, FATMIR SEJDIU, HER
Civ. No. 17-1355 (WJM)
TARGET CORP., et al.,
WILLIAM J. MARTINI, U.S.D.J.:
Plaintiffs Ardiana Sejdiu and her husband, Fatmir Sejdiu (“Plaintiffs”), allege that
Ardiana Sejdiu slipped and fell in a store owned by Defendant Target Corporation, causing
her to sustain severe permanent injuries. Plaintiffs filed a Complaint in New Jersey state
court, and Target removed the action to this Court. This matter now comes before the
Court on Plaintiffs’ motion to remand the matter to state court. For the below reasons,
Plaintiffs’ motion to remand is DENIED.
Plaintiffs Ardiana Sejdiu and her husband Fatmir Sejdiu are both residents of New
Jersey. ECF No. 1, Ex. A (Compl.), 1. Defendant Target is incorporated in Minnesota and
has its principal place of business in Minnesota. ECF No. 1 (Notice of Removal).
According to Plaintiffs’ Complaint, in August 2015, Ardiana Sejdiu slipped and fell
on a slippery substance on the floor of a Target store in Clifton, New Jersey. Id., Ex. A at
1-2. The fall caused Ardiana Sejudiu to suffer severe and permanent bodily injuries,
ongoing “great pain and suffering,” interrupted employment, and “large sums of money”
in current and future medical costs. Id. at 2-3. Fatmir Sejdiu alleges that, as a result of his
wife’s injuries, he has suffered the loss of services, companionship and consortium. Id. at
Plaintiffs filed their Complaint in Passaic County Superior Court, and Target
removed the action to this Court based on diversity of citizenship and a belief that the
amount in controversy exceeds $75,000. Plaintiffs now move for remand to state court.
“Except as otherwise provided by Congress, any civil action brought in a State court
of which the district courts of the United States have original jurisdiction, may be removed
... to the district court of the United States for the district and division embracing the place
where such action is pending.” 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a). “[T]he party asserting federal
jurisdiction in a removal case bears the burden of showing, at all stages of the litigation,
that the case is properly before the federal court.” Frederico v. Home Depot, 507 F.3d 188,
193 (3d Cir. 2007). Where diversity jurisdiction is grounds for removal under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1332, the removing party must demonstrate complete diversity between the parties. See
Wis. Dep't of Corr. v. Schacht, 524 U.S. 381, 389 (1994) (stating that federal diversity
jurisdiction is present “only if there is no plaintiff and no defendant who are citizens of the
same state”). If diversity of citizenship is the basis for removal, the defendant must show
that the amount in controversy exceeds the $75,000 minimum. See Meritcare Inc. v. St.
Paul Mercury Ins. Co., 166 F.3d 214, 222 (3d Cir. 1999).
When a complaint fails to demand a specific amount of damages, the court must
perform its own “independent appraisal of the value of the claim.” Angus v. Shiley Inc.,
989 F.2d 142, 146 (3d Cir. 1993). In the context of a personal injury suit between diverse
parties, courts in this district “generally will not remand a personal injury claim in the
absence of a waiver by Plaintiff capping damages at $75,000.” Avant v. J.C. Penney, 2007
WL 1791621 (D.N.J. June 19, 2007).
Target has met its burden to demonstrate that this action is properly in federal court.
See Frederico, 507 F.3d at 193. First, Target has shown that Plaintiffs are both residents
of New Jersey, and that Target is incorporated and has its principal place of business in
Minnesota, satisfying diversity requirements. Auto–Owners Ins. Co. v. Stevens & Ricci
Inc., 835 F.3d 388, 394 (3d Cir. 2016) (“For jurisdictional purposes, a corporation is a
citizen of both its state of incorporation and the state where it has its principal place of
business” (citations omitted)); see also 28 U.S.C. § 1332(c). Second, while Plaintiffs did
not allege a damages amount in their initial complaint, Target reasonably asserts that the
nature of the injuries alleged by Plaintiffs exceeds an amount in controversy of $75,000.
ECF No. 1, ¶ 4; see Avant, 2007 WL 1791621 at *2 (finding that allegations of serious
injuries in addition to pain and suffering indicate that the amount in controversy exceeds
In their motion to remand, Plaintiffs do not contest that the diversity and amount in
controversy requirements have been met. ECF No. 7. Rather, Plaintiffs assert that remand
is proper because “all the witnesses in this case are in Passaic County” and Target “engages
in business across New Jersey.” Id. at ¶¶ 4-5. Plaintiffs also argue that remanding to state
court would not prejudice Target and that New Jersey state court “certainly has the
jurisdiction for civil cases of a value greater than $75,000.” Id. at ¶¶ 6-8. In opposition,
Target reiterates that the removal requirements have been met. ECF No. 9. Because
diversity has been sufficiently established and Plaintiffs do not deny that the amount in
controversy is at least $75,000, Plaintiffs’ motion for remand must be denied.
For the reasons stated above, Plaintiffs’ motion for remand is DENIED. An
appropriate Order follows.
/s/ William J. Martini
WILLIAM J. MARTINI, U.S.D.J.
Date: April 19, 2017
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