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Anderson v. Swift Transportation Co. of Arizona, LLC

United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana

June 4, 2018

LAKEISHA ANDERSON
v.
SWIFT TRANSPORTATION COMPANY OF ARIZONA, LLC, ET AL.

          NOTICE

          RICHARD L. BOURGEOIS, JR. UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Please take notice that the attached Magistrate Judge's Report has been filed with the Clerk of the United States District Court.

         In accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1), you have fourteen (14) days after being served with the attached Report to file written objections to the proposed findings of fact, conclusions of law and recommendations therein. Failure to file written objections to the proposed findings, conclusions, and recommendations within 14 days after being served will bar you, except upon grounds of plain error, from attacking on appeal the unobjected-to proposed factual findings and legal conclusions of the Magistrate Judge which have been accepted by the District Court.

         ABSOLUTELY NO EXTENSION OF TIME SHALL BE GRANTED TO FILE WRITTEN OBJECTIONS TO THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT.

         MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

         Before the Court is Plaintiff's Motion to Remand (R. Doc. 9) filed on February 2, 2018. The motion is opposed. (R. Doc. 12). Plaintiff filed a reply. (R. Doc. 16).

         I. Background

         On or about December 6, 2017, Lakeisha Anderson (“Plaintiff”) initiated this personal injury action in the 18th Judicial District Court, Iberville Parish, Louisiana, naming as defendants Swift Transportation Company of Arizona, LLC (“Swift”) and Cordell Cornelius Harris (collectively, “Defendants”), as well as the fictitious entity ABC Insurance Company. (R. Doc. 1-1 at 5-8, “Petition”). Plaintiff alleges that on or about December 7, 2016, she was involved in an accident between a commercial truck operated by Plaintiff and owned by her employer, and a commercial truck operated by Mr. Harris and owned by Swift. (Petition ¶ 3). Plaintiff alleges that as a result of the collision, she “sustained bodily injuries that required medical attention and treatment by a physician.” (Petition ¶ 6). Plaintiff, who did not specify the injuries that she sustained, seeks recovery of “general and special damages.” (Petition ¶ 10).

         On January 2, 2018, defense counsel attempted to contract Plaintiff's counsel “to discuss [Plaintiff's] injury and her treatment status, and more specifically whether [Plaintiff's counsel] believe her claim exceeds $75, 000.00 exclusive of interest and costs.” (R. Doc. 12-1 at 1).

         On January 8, 2018, Defendants removed this action on the basis that this Court has diversity jurisdiction over the action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332. (R. Doc. 1). In support of a finding that the amount in controversy requirement is satisfied, Defendants rely upon Plaintiff's allegations in the Petition (including the lack of any allegation providing a lack of federal jurisdiction), Plaintiff's failure to enter into a binding stipulation regarding the amount of damages, and defense counsel's failure to reach Plaintiff's counsel to discuss the amount of damages. (R. Doc. 1 at 4-5).

         On January 11, 2018, Defendant propounded interrogatories and requests for production on Plaintiff. (R. Doc. 12-1).

         On February 2, 2018, Defendant propounded requests for admission pertaining to the amount in controversy. (R. Doc. 12-1 at 26-29). Plaintiff filed the instant Motion to Remand the same day. (R. Doc. 12).

         II. Arguments of the Parties

         In support of remand, Plaintiff argues that it is not facially apparent from the Petition that the amount in controversy requirement is satisfied. (R. Doc. 9-1). Plaintiff specifically argues that Defendants have not met their burden of establishing the amount in controversy because the Petition does not specific types of injuries supporting a finding that the amount in controversy is met, and Plaintiff is not required by law to stipulate to a specific amount in damages. (R. Doc. 9-1 at 4-7). ...


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