Alicia Beaudoin v. Bass Pro Outdoor World, L.L.C.
ORDER DENYING 7 Motion to Remand to State Court. Signed by Judge Xavier Rodriguez. (rg)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE
WESTERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS
SAN ANTONIO DIVISION
BASS PRO OUTDOOR WORLD, LLC,
Civil Action No. SA-15-CV-513-XR
On this day the Court considered Plaintiff’s Motion for Remand (docket no. 7). After
careful consideration, the Court denies the motion.
Plaintiff Alicia Beaudoin brings this premises liability case against Defendant Bass Pro
Outdoor World, L.L.C., (“Bass Pro”) for allegedly getting her foot caught in a display, falling,
and suffering serious injury. Beaudoin brought this action against Bass Pro in the 225th Judicial
District Court of Bexar County, Texas under cause number 2015-CI-08779 on May 28, 2015.
Docket no. 4-1. Her Original Petition alleges that “Defendant Bass Pro Outdoor World L.L.C. is
a Missouri limited liability company.” Docket no. 4-1 at Section II. Bass Pro removed this case,
alleging diversity jurisdiction on June 22, 2015.
In the Notice of Removal Defendant Bass Pro Outdoor World, L.L.C. alleged that it “is
not a Texas resident because its state of incorporation is Missouri and its principal place of
business is located in Springfield, Missouri. Therefore, the parties are sufficiently diverse to
satisfy the first element of diversity jurisdiction.” Docket no. 1 at ¶ 4. The Notice of Removal
further noted “that Plaintiff's Complaint claims that she suffered personal injury damages
including damages for past and future medical expenses, loss of past earnings, as well as past and
future physical pain, suffering and mental anguish. Her medical damages claim includes the
costs related to a broken right leg, which allegedly required surgery. Due to the nature of
Plaintiff’s claimed injury and medical treatment including surgery, her alleged damages are in
excess of $75,000.00 even though Plaintiff has failed to list a specific amount in her pleadings.”
The Court ordered Bass Pro to file an amended notice of removal because it had not
sufficiently demonstrated the Court’s diversity jurisdiction by July 13, 2015. Bass Pro, as an
LLC, had neither sufficiently shown the residency of all of its members, nor demonstrated to the
Court the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000. Docket no. 5.
On July 16, without an amended notice of appeal on file, Beaudoin filed this motion to
remand. Docket no. 7. Beaudoin’s arguments mirror the Court’s previous Order, stating Bass
Pro had not met its burden to show that the parties are completely diverse or the amount in
controversy exceeds $75,000. Docket no. 7. On July 17, Bass Pro moved the Court to extend
the deadline to amend its notice of removal to July 23, 2015, the same date it needed to respond
to Beaudoin’s motion, because it had not received notice of the Court’s Order due to a technical
error in the e-filing system. Docket no. 8. The Court granted that extension. Bass Pro then
amended its notice of removal with exhibits and responded to Beaudoin’s motion on July 23.
Docket nos. 11, 13, and 15.
A party may remove an action from state court to federal court if the action is one over
which the federal court possesses subject matter jurisdiction. See 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a). On a
motion to remand, the court must consider whether removal was proper. Removal is proper in
any case in which the federal court would have had original jurisdiction. Id. A federal court
originally has subject matter jurisdiction over controversies involving disputes between citizens
of different states where the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000. 28 U.S.C. § 1332.
Citizenship of the parties and amount in controversy are based on the facts as they existed at the
time of removal. Louisiana v. Am. Nat. Prop. Cas. Co., 746 F.3d 633, 636 (5th Cir. 2014). The
court is only to consider the allegations in the state court petition; any amended complaints filed
after removal are not considered. Cavallini, 44 F.3d at 264 (citing Pullman Co. v. Jenkins, 305
U.S. 534, 537 (1939) (“The second amended complaint should not have been considered in
determining the right to remove . . . [removal] was to be determined according to the plaintiffs'
pleading at the time of the petition for removal.”)).
The removing party bears the burden of showing that federal jurisdiction exists and that
removal was proper. De Aguilar v. Boeing Co., 47 F.3d 1404, 1408 (5th Cir. 1995). The
removal statute is strictly construed in favor of remand. Vantage Drilling Co. v. Hsin-Chi Su,
741 F.3d 535, 537 (5th Cir. 2014) (citing Acuna v. Brown & Root, Inc., 200 F.3d 335, 339 (5th
For diversity jurisdiction to be proper, the “court must be certain that all plaintiffs have a
different citizenship from all defendants.” Getty Oil Corp., a Div. of Texaco, Inc. v. Insur. Co. of
N.A., 841 F.2d 1254, 1258 (5th Cir.1988). The party asserting federal jurisdiction must
“distinctly and affirmatively allege” the citizenship of the parties. Howery v. Allstate Ins. Co.,
243 F.3d 912, 919 (5th Cir. 2001); see also Mullins v. TestAmerica, Inc., 564 F.3d 386, 397 (5th
The original notice of removal did not include sufficient information, and Beaudoin’s
motion was based on this insufficiency. However, Bass Pro has now sufficiently shown that it is
completely diverse from Beaudoin. Bass Pro is “a wholly owned subsidiary of Bass Pro, LLC, a
Delaware limited liability company. Bass Pro, LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bass Pro
Group, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company. Bass Pro Group, LLC is a wholly owned
subsidiary of American Sportsman Holdings Co., a Missouri corporation. The principal place of
business for American Sportsman Holdings Co. is located in Missouri.” See docket no. 11 at ¶ 1;
see also docket no. 11 Ex. A. Beaudoin is a citizen of Texas. American Sportsman Holdings
Co. is a resident of Missouri for diversity purposes, and thus Bass Pro is a resident of Missouri
for diversity purposes. Therefore, the parties are completely diverse.
Next, the Court addresses the amount in controversy. Courts refer first to the state court
petition to determine the amount in controversy. See St. Paul Reinsurance Co. Limited. v.
Greenberg, 134 F.3d 1250, 1253 (5th Cir. 1998). “Where, as here, the petition does not include
a specific monetary demand, [the removing party] must establish by a preponderance of the
evidence that the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000.” Manguno v. Prudential Prop. &
Cas. Co., 276 F.3d 720, 723 (5th Cir. 2002). This requirement is met if (1) it is apparent from
the face of the petition that the claims are likely to exceed $75,000, or, alternatively, (2) the
defendant sets forth summary judgment type evidence of facts in controversy that support a
finding of the requisite amount. Id. The Fifth Circuit has generally held that when the petition
alleges extensive injuries, it may be facially apparent that the amount in controversy exceeds
$75,000. See Hernandez v. USA Hosts, Ltd., 418 F. App’x 293, 294-95 (5th Cir. 2011). In
contrast, where the complaint describes injuries and damages inadequately and without
specificity, it will generally not be facially apparent. Simon v. Walgreens, 193 F.3d 848, 849-50
(5th Cir. 1999) (noting that Walgreens was faced with a complaint that described damages
inadequately to support removal, i.e, with substantially less specificity than in other cases).
The Court stated in its previous Order, “While Plaintiff’s allegations of a broken leg and
surgery may be enough to show by a preponderance of the evidence that the amount in
controversy exceeds $75,000, the Court is unconvinced at this time.” Beaudoin argues in her
motion for remand that, “Because Defendant has failed to establish by a preponderance of the
evidence that the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000, it has failed to establish the second
element of diversity jurisdiction.” Docket no. 7 at ¶ 6.
In its amended notice of removal and response to the motion for remand, Bass Pro
argues, “Plaintiff previously demanded an amount greater than $75,000 in settlement. See
Exhibit B. Due to the nature of Plaintiff’s claimed injury, medical treatment including surgery,
and previous settlement demand, her alleged damages are in excess of $75,000.” Docket no. 11
at ¶ 5; see also docket no. 15 ex. B.
Exhibit B is a demand letter from Beaudoin’s attorney
asking for more than $300,000. Exhibit B also includes various attachments outlining medical
expenses to support portions of the demand. The preponderance of the summary judgment
evidence therefore establishes that more than $75,000 is in question here.
Because the parties are completely diverse and the amount in controversy exceeds
$75,000, Bass Pro has properly invoked this Court’s diversity jurisdiction. Beaudoin’s motion
for remand is denied.
For the above stated reasons the Court DENIES Plaintiff’s motion for remand (docket no.
7). An order and advisory from the Court asking the parties for scheduling recommendations is
It is so ORDERED.
SIGNED this 3rd day of August, 2015.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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