Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Anderson v. Kesler

United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana

January 24, 2017

LAURA ANDERSON
v.
VLADIMIR KESLER, ET AL

         SECTION "L" (1)

          ORDER & REASONS

         Before the Court is Plaintiff's Motion to Remand. R. Doc. 9. Having reviewed the parties' briefs and the applicable law, the Court now issues this Order & Reasons.

         I. BACKGROUND

         On July 8, 2016, Plaintiff Laura Anderson filed suit in the Civil District Court for the Parish of Orleans alleging injuries stemming from an automobile collision occurring in Orleans Parish, Louisiana, on August 10, 2015. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Vladimir Kesler negligently failed to stop at a red light and collided with her vehicle as she was proceeding east on South Broad Street, causing “multiple contusions and abrasions, cervical strain, lumbar strain, nerve and disk damage, [and] an aggravation of pre-existing fibromyalgia”. R. Doc. 1-5 at 2. In her petition, Plaintiff seeks damages for (a) physical pain and suffering; (b) mental anguish; (c) permanent disability; (d) medical expenses; (e) loss of income; (f) loss of earning capacity; and (g) loss of enjoyment of life. R. Doc. 1-5 at 2. In accordance with Louisiana Code of Civil Procedure article 893(a), Plaintiff did not plead a specific damage amount in her petition. Plaintiff also did not note whether the amount in controversy met, or did not meet, the amount required for federal diversity jurisdiction. Defendant Plymouth Rock Assurance Company provided liability coverage for the vehicle operated by Vladimir Kesler. R. Doc. 1-5 at 2.

         Plaintiff informed Defendants of her significant injury and medical costs on November 15, 2015 and May 26, 2016, prior to filing suit in state court on July 8, 2016. R. Doc. 9-1 at 1-2. On August 10, 2016, Defendants filed a motion for extension of time. On September 28, 2016, Plaintiff filed a supplemental petition adding her underinsured motorist carrier to the complaint. “Around that time, ” Defendants sent a request for admission asking about the value of the damages; Plaintiff responded on October 20, 2016, that the damages exceeded $75, 000. R. Doc. 9-1 at 2.

         Defendant Plymouth Rock Assurance Company filed a Notice of Removal on October 20, 2016. Invoking this Court's diversity jurisdiction, Defendant asserted that this action involves a controversy between citizens of different states and the amount in controversy exceeds $75, 000, based on Plaintiff's amended complaint filed September 28, 2016. R. Doc. 1 at 3; R. Doc. 1-2.

         II. PRESENT MOTION

         On November 21, 2016, Plaintiff filed the present motion to remand, arguing that Notice of Removal is untimely under 28 U.S.C. § 1446(b). R. Doc. 9-1 at 2-3. Defendants oppose remand, maintaining the Notice of Removal was filed within the requisite time limit.

         A. Plaintiff's Motion to Remand

         Plaintiff provided correspondence between the parties prior to the commencement of the case detailing her injury and medical care. R. Doc. 9-1 at 1-2; R. Docs. 9-2; 9-3; 9-4; 9-5. Based on this correspondence, Plaintiff claims that Defendants were on notice that Plaintiff's damages would exceed $75, 000. R. Doc. 9-1 at 1-2. Plaintiff filed suit on July 8, 2016, and responded to a request for admission acknowledging that damages exceeded $75, 000 on October 20, 2016. In her motion to remand, Plaintiff contends that Defendants had notice of the potential damages prior to the commencement of the lawsuit, and that the petition noted injury to Plaintiff's disc and nerves, indicating significant and costly damages. R. Doc. 9-1 at 3. Additionally, Plaintiff contends that the medical records and settlement demands sent to Defendants constitute “other paper” as set forth in 28 U.S.C. § 1446(b), rendering Defendants' Notice of Removal untimely. R. Doc. 9-1 at 3.

         B. Defendants' Opposition

         Defendants oppose the motion to remand, contending that prior to September 2016 they had no reason to believe the amount in controversy exceeded $75, 000 and thus no reason to file a Notice of Removal. R. Doc. 10 at 4. Defendants aver that the medical documentation they received from Plaintiff between July 8, 2016, the date the state petition was filed, and September 26, 2016, indicated that Plaintiff's medical costs totaled $10, 627.57. R. Doc. 10 at 3. In late September, Plaintiff filed an amended petition adding her Underinsured Motorist insurer as a defendant. R. Doc. 10 at 4. On September 26, 2016, Defendants forwarded Plaintiff two requests for admission, attempting to clarify that the damages and the amount in controversy would not exceed $75, 000. R. Doc. 10 at 3. Plaintiffs did not respond to these requests within 15 days of service, so, relying on La. Code of Civil Procedure art. 1467, Defendants contend they were admitted. R. Doc. 10 at 4. On October 20, 2016, Plaintiff responded to Defendants' response to request for admission, neither admitting or denying that the amount in damages was greater or less than $75, 000 because the trier of facts determines damages. R. Doc. 9-6 at 1. Also on October 20, 2016, Defendant received Plaintiff's medical records pursuant to a subpoena indicating ongoing medical treatment. R. Doc. 10 at 4-5. At this time, Defendants maintain that it was apparent that Plaintiff's damages would exceed $75, 000 and filed a Notice of Removal. R. Doc. 10 at 5-6.

         III. LAW AND ANALYSIS

         A. ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.