United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Shreveport Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
L. Hornsby U.S. Magistrate Judge
Carr (“Plaintiff”) filed a single petition suit
in state court for damages caused by two car accidents in
which he was involved. The defendants associated with the
first accident removed the case to federal court based on an
assertion of diversity jurisdiction. Plaintiff filed a Motion
to Remand (Doc. 13) on the grounds the removing defendants
did not satisfy their burden of establishing that the amount
in controversy exceeds $75, 000.
removing defendants responded to the motion, and they filed a
separate Motion to Sever (Doc. 10) that asked that the claims
against the defendants associated with the second accident
(one of whom is not diverse from Plaintiff) be severed and
remanded on the grounds that those defendants were improperly
joined as a matter of procedural law. After review, the
undersigned concludes that the removing defendants have not
satisfied their burden with respect to the amount in
controversy and recommends, for the reasons that follow, that
the case be remanded to state court. It is not necessary to
address the Motion to Sever.
federal courts have original jurisdiction over civil actions
where the parties are citizens of different states and the
matter in controversy exceeds the sum or value of $75, 000,
exclusive of interest and costs. 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a).
Subject to some exceptions, a civil action brought in state
court over which the federal courts have original
jurisdiction may be removed by the defendants.' 1441(a).
The notice of removal must contain a statement of the grounds
for removal.' 1446(a).
notice of removal may assert the amount in controversy if the
plaintiff's initial pleading seeks a money judgment but
state practice does not permit demand for a specific sum. 28
U.S.C. § 1446(c)(2)(A)(ii). Removal of such an action is
proper on the basis of an amount in controversy asserted in
the notice of removal “if the district court finds, by
the preponderance of the evidence, that the amount in
controversy exceeds” $75, 000 exclusive of interest and
costs. 28 U.S.C. Â§' 1446(c)(2)(B) and 1332(a). The burden
is on the removing party to show that removal is proper, and
any doubts should be resolved against federal jurisdiction.
Vantage Drilling Co. v. Hsin-Chi Su, 741 F.3rd 535,
537 (5th Cir. 2014).
petition, in accordance with Louisiana law, did not set forth
a demand for a specific amount of damages. Defendants
asserted in their notice of removal that the amount in
controversy exceeds $75, 000. Defendants may satisfy their
burden on that issue by: (1) demonstrating that it is
“facially apparent” that the claims are likely
above $75, 000, or (2) setting forth the facts in
controversy-in the notice of removal or an affidavit-that
support a finding of the requisite amount. Luckett v.
Delta Airlines, 171 F.3d 295, 298 (5th Cir. 1999);
Simon v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 193 F.3d 848 (5th
Cir. 1999). Defendants in this case rely primarily on the
facially apparent standard.
in the Petition
alleges in his state court petition that he was operating his
vehicle on I-220, driving in the left lane near the Cross
Lake Bridge in Shreveport, prior to an area where road
construction was being performed. Without warning, a large
commercial truck (18-wheeler) operated by Christopher Mayclin
and owned by Crete Carrier Corp. “swerved from the
right land into the left lane, smashing into
[Plaintiff's] vehicle.” Petition, ¶¶ 4-5.
alleges that, as a result of the incident, he “suffered
serious, painful and permanent bodily injuries including
lumbar, thoracic, and cervical spinal injuries, radiating
pain, shoulder pain, and emotional distress, for which he is
entitled to be fully and justly compensated” in several
categories. The categories listed are the standard past and
future medical expenses, past and future physical pain and
suffering, past and future mental anguish, loss of enjoyment
of life, loss of earnings and earning capacity, and loss of
future earnings. ¶ 11. The petition does not offer any
additional facts regarding the nature of the injuries, what
medical care might have been required, or the extent of
alleges in his petition that, less than three weeks later, he
was again operating his vehicle on I-220 when he had to stop
because the traffic ahead of him was stopped. Two other
vehicles came to a complete stop behind. Mason Hollis,
however, was not able to stop his vehicle, and he struck the
two stopped vehicles, which caused the vehicle directly
behind Plaintiff to impact Plaintiff's vehicle.
¶¶ 15-16. Plaintiff does not allege any particular
injuries or damages associated with this accident other than
to allege that, as a result of the second collision, his
“injuries and damages as stated above were
aggravated.” ¶ 17.