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Hatcher v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co.

United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana

December 12, 2017

DENISEYU HATCHER, ET. AL.
v.
STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE CO., ET. AL.

         SECTION “B” (5)

          ORDER AND REASONS

         Before the Court is Plaintiffs, Deniseyu Hatcher and Stacy Hatcher's (collectively “Plaintiffs”), Motion to Remand to State Court (Rec. Doc. 3), and Defendants, Daniel Okabayashi and State Farm Automobile Insurance Company's (collectively “Defendants”), Response in Opposition (Rec. Doc. 4). Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that the Plaintiffs' Motion to Remand (Rec. Doc. 3) is GRANTED; provided Plaintiffs execute binding, irrevocable stipulations under oath renouncing any rights to seek or accept any judgment in excess of $75, 000. Plaintiffs shall file the stipulations by no later than December 22, 2017. While Plaintiffs' pre-removal selection of a judicial forum where jurisdictional limits are below the federal diversity jurisdictional amount of $75, 000, Defendants correctly note that without the latter stipulations Plaintiffs could seek transfer of their city court action to the state district court in order to be in a state forum with higher jurisdictional limits.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         This case emanates from an automobile collision on September 30, 2016, while the parties were traversing highway I-10 East near the Claiborne Avenue exit. Rec. Doc. 4-1. Plaintiffs allege that Defendant Daniel Okabayashi (“Defendant Okabayashi”) changed lanes suddenly and improperly, striking Plaintiffs' vehicle. Id. Plaintiffs each allege personal injuries to their neck and back. Rec. Doc. 3-1. While Plaintiffs do not allege a specific dollar amount (See Rec. Doc. 4 at 5; Rec. Doc. 4-1) the First City Court petition seeks the following damages:

A. Past and future physical pain and suffering;
B. Past and future mental anguish;
C. Medical expenses, past and future;
D. Lost wages and loss of earning capacity;
E. Property damage and/or property damage deductible;
F. Loss of use of vehicle;
G. Rental car expenses; and
H. Any and all other damages which will be proved at the trial; thereof.

Rec. Doc. 1-2.

         Plaintiffs filed their petition in state court on August 21, 2017; and on October 19, 2017, Defendant Okabayashi removed to federal court. Rec. Doc. 3-1. Plaintiffs' instant motion seeks remand of ...


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