United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
ORDER AND REASONS
L. C. FELDMAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court is the plaintiffs' unopposed motion to remand.
For the reasons that follow, the motion is GRANTED.
litigation concerns two shoppers' claims that they
sustained personal injuries when an escalator malfunctioned.
27, 2018, Suncia Lawson and Minnie Reed visited Oakwood
Shopping Center in Gretna, Louisiana. Lawson and Reed claim
that, during their visit, an escalator on which they were
riding suddenly malfunctioned, causing their “bodies to
twist and turn in a violent manner and/or fall.” On
March 29, 2019, Lawson and Reed sued Oakwood Shopping Center,
LLC; Shoe Show, Inc., doing business as Shoe Dept. Encore;
and Schindler Elevator Corporation in the 24th Judicial
District Court for the Parish of Jefferson. Alleging that one
or more of the defendants were negligent in failing to
adequately maintain, repair, and inspect the escalator and in
failing to warn about the dangers it posed, the plaintiffs
seek to recover for various damages, including past and
future pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost wages, and
loss of enjoyment of life.
10, 2019, Schindler removed the case to this Court, invoking
the Court's diversity jurisdiction. After learning
that H-Worth Elevator Service, LLC is the entity responsible
for the escalator's maintenance, the plaintiffs moved for
leave to amend their complaint on May 28, 2019 to name
H-Worth as an additional defendant. Schindler and Shoe Show, the
only defendants who had appeared in this case, consented to
the filing of the amended complaint. Therefore, the Court
granted the plaintiffs' unopposed motion to amend on May
same day, the plaintiffs moved to remand, contending that
removal was improper both substantively and procedurally. As
for substance, the plaintiffs submit that the joinder of
H-Worth Elevator Service, LLC, a non-diverse defendant,
divests the Court of subject matter jurisdiction. The
plaintiffs also challenge the propriety of the removal
process in three ways: (1) all properly joined and
served defendants did not join in or consent to removal; (2)
the removing defendant, Schindler Elevator Corporation, did
not file with its Notice of Removal a copy of all process,
pleadings, and orders served upon the defendants desiring
removal; and (3) Schindler filed a defective Notice of
the plaintiffs challenge removal in this case, the removing
defendant carries the burden of showing the propriety of this
Court's removal jurisdiction. See Manguno v.
Prudential Prop. & Cas. Ins. Co., 276 F.3d 720, 723
(5th Cir. 2002); see also Jernigan v. Ashland Oil,
Inc., 989 F.2d 812, 815 (5th Cir. 1993). Given the
significant federalism concerns implicated by removal, a
domestic limited liability company, who upon information and
belief has one sole member, who is in turn a Louisiana
citizen.” the removal statute is strictly construed,
“and any doubt about the propriety of removal must be
resolved in favor of remand.” Gutierrez v.
Flores, 543 F.3d 248, 251 (5th Cir. 2008) (citation
omitted); Gasch v. Hartford Accident & Indem.
Co., 491 F.3d 278, 281-82 (5th Cir. 2007) (citations
Courts are courts of limited jurisdiction, possessing only
the authority granted by the United States Constitution and
conferred by the United States Congress. Howery v.
Allstate Ins. Co., 243 F.3d 912, 916 (5th Cir. 2001). A
defendant may generally remove a civil action filed in state
court if the federal court has original jurisdiction over the
case -- that is, if the plaintiff could have brought the
action in federal court from the outset. See 28
U.S.C. § 1441(a). For a defendant to invoke the
Court's removal jurisdiction based on diversity, the
diverse defendant must demonstrate that complete diversity
exists between the plaintiffs and all properly joined
defendants, and that the amount in controversy exceeds $75,
000. See 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a)(1). Remand is
proper if at any time the Court lacks subject matter
jurisdiction. 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c). Therefore,