United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is Plaintiff Eric Arrington's
(“Plaintiff”) “Motion to Remand”
(Rec. Doc. 7) and Defendant Seaonus Stevedoring - New
Orleans' (“Defendant”) “Opposition to
Motion to Remand” (Rec. Doc. 9). For the foregoing
reasons, IT IS ORDERED that Plaintiff's
Motion is GRANTED in part and DENIED
in part and the action is REMANDED
to Civil District Court for the Parish of Orleans, Louisiana.
requests this Court remand this case to Civil District Court
on the basis that it was improperly removed pursuant to 28
U.S.C. §§ 1333 and 1441. Plaintiff also seeks to
recover fees and costs associated with the removal. Rec. Doc.
submits that the case was properly removed as a result of the
2011 amendment to § 1441(b). Alternatively, Defendant
requests this Court deny Plaintiff's request for an award
of attorney's fees in light of this issue being a
“hotly” contested issue of law. Rec. Doc. 9.
and Factual Background
alleges an incident on January 3, 2017, while he was employed
as a maritime worker aboard a vessel owned and/or operated by
Defendant. Specifically, Plaintiff alleges that while he was
assisting to move stacks of plywood aboard the vessel, one of
Defendant's crane operators dropped a load of materials
directly on top of him. Rec. Doc. 1-1. Plaintiff assets that
he sustained severe injuries as a result of the above
incident. Id. He originally filed this action in the
Civil District Court for the Parish of Orleans in August
2017. Rec. Doc. 1-1. Shortly thereafter, Defendant removed
this case citing this Court's original jurisdiction under
28 U.S.C. § 1333 and removal pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1446(a). Rec. Doc. 1.
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.” Manguno v. Prudential
Prop. and Cas. Ins. Co., 276 F.3d 720, 723 (5th Cir.
2002)(citing 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a)).
(a) Generally.--Except as otherwise
expressly provided by Act of Congress, any civil action
brought in a State court of which the district courts of the
United States have original jurisdiction,
may be removed by the defendant or
the defendants, 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.A. § 1441(a)(emphasis added). The burden of
establishing subject matter jurisdiction in federal court
rests with the party seeking to invoke it. Jefferson Par.
v. Anadarko E&P Onshore LLC, No. CV 13-6701, 2015 WL
13534014, at *2 (E.D. La. Mar. 11, 2015).
present issue before us deals with the removability of an
admiralty and maritime action, filed in state court, absent
any other independent jurisdictional basis for removal to
federal court. Prior to the 2011 Congressional amendment to
28 U.S.C. § 1441, it was well- settled law that maritime
claims were not removable under § 1441(b), absent
diversity jurisdiction or a separate federal question.
See e.g., In re Dutile, 935 F.2d 61, 63
(5th Cir. 1991) (Concluding that admiralty and maritime
claims may be removed to federal court only by non-forum
defendants and only where there is complete diversity of
citizenship.); Tennessee Gas Pipeline v. Houston Cas.
Ins. Co., 87 F.3d 150, 153 (5th Cir. 1996)(“ It is
well-established that maritime claims do not “aris[e]
under the Constitution, treaties or laws of the United
States” for purposes of federal question and removal
jurisdiction. Tennessee Gas's maritime claim is not
removable under the first sentence of 28 U.S.C. §
1441(b) by falling within the admiralty jurisdiction of the
the 2011 amendment, however, there is disagreement among
district courts in the Fifth Circuit regarding whether
general maritime claims are removable. Riverside Const.
Co. v. Entergy Mississippi, Inc.,626 Fed.Appx. 443, 447
(5th Cir. 2015), as revised (Oct. 16, 2015). This
Court has previously concluded that claims originally filed
in state court are not, and were not made, removable by the
recent amendments to the removal statute because there is no
independent basis for removal. Jefferson Par. v. Anadarko
E&P Onshore LLC, No. CV 13-6701, 2015 WL 13534014,
at *6 (E.D. La. Mar. 11, 2015). In comport with our prior
decision on this issue, as well as every other judge in this
district, we conclude that maritime law does not provide an
independent basis for exercising removal jurisdiction over
the claims asserted by the Plaintiff here. See
generally, Id. (Lemelle J.); Yavorsky v.
Felice Navig., Inc., No. 14-2007, 2014 WL 581699 (E.D.
La. Nov. ...