United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Lake Charles Division
DERRICK GOOCH, ET AL.
PACKAGING CORPORATION OF AMERICA, INC., ET AL.
D. CAIN, JR., JUDGE
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
KATHLEEN KAY, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
the court is a Motion for Leave to File Complaint in
Intervention filed by National Fire Insurance Company of
Hartford (“National Fire.”). Doc. 28. The motion
is supported by plaintiff Derrick G. Gooch, individually and
on behalf of Jody L. Gooch. Doc. 31. The motion is opposed by
defendant Packaging Corporation of America, Inc.
(“PCA.”). Doc. 32. This motion has been referred
to the undersigned for review, report, and recommendation in
accordance with the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636.
reasons stated below, IT IS RECOMMENDED that
the Motion for Leave to File Complaint in Intervention be
case arises from an explosion that occurred on February 8,
2017, during an annual maintenance outage at the paper mill
owned by PCA in DeRidder, Louisiana, and resulted in the
death of plaintiff's father, Jody L. Gooch. Doc. 1, att.
8, p. 3. According to the complaint, the decedent was a
welder who had been contracted by PCA to conduct repairs,
including “hot work, ” at the mill. Id.
at 3-4. On February 2, 2018, plaintiff, a Texas resident,
filed suit in the 36th Judicial District Court, Beauregard
Parish, Louisiana. Id. at 3. He named as defendants
PCA, a corporation with citizenship in Delaware and Illinois,
Floyd J. LeBleu and Raymond Lester, both of whom are
residents of Louisiana; and James Machine Works, LLC
(“JMW”), “a Louisiana limited liability
company with its principal place of business located in the
Parish of Ouachita, State of Louisiana.” Id.
On March 5, 2018, PCA removed the action to this court on the
basis of diversity jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1332.
Doc. 1. Although plaintiff sought remand asserting that
LeBleu, Lester and JMW destroyed diversity [doc. 11], we
found all three to be an improperly joined parties [doc. 14]
and on November 14, 2018 all claims asserted against them
were dismissed without prejudice. Doc. 21.
March 18, 2019, National Fire, an Illinois
citizen, filed the instant Motion for Leave to
File Complaint in Intervention. Doc. 28. It asserts that it
has paid sums in indemnity and medical to and on the behalf
of plaintiff pursuant to National Fire's policy of
worker's compensation issued to Jody L. Gooch's
employer, Elite Industrial Services, LLC. See Id. at
att. 1, p. 1. It claims its intervention is necessary to
protect its interests. See Id. at 2, 5-6. The
intervention is supported by plaintiff [doc. 31] however PCA
opposes, initially arguing intervention was untimely, and
that National Fire already has a remedy established under
Texas law for reimbursement of benefits paid. Doc. 32, pp.
2-3. Then on May 9, 2019, PCA filed a Supplemental Response
in Opposition to National Fire's Motion for Leave to File
Complaint in Intervention. Doc. 35. PCA now argues that
National Fire has no interest in this suit because the Texas
Department of Insurance Division of Workers' Compensation
found that Derick Gooch was not a proper legal beneficiary of
Jody L. Gooch [id.]. PCA evidences this with a copy
of the court's decision and order. Id. at att.
of right is governed by Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule
24(a). Fed.R.Civ.p. 24. Rule 24(a)(1) permits intervention of
right when a federal statute grants “an unconditional
right to intervene, ” and Rule 24(a)(2) permits
intervention when a prospective intervenor “claims an
interest relating to the property or transaction that is the
subject of the action, and is so situated that disposing of
the action may as a practical matter impair or impede the
movant's ability to protect its interest, unless existing
parties adequately represent that interest.” National
Fire has asserted no federal statute giving it “an
unconditional right to intervene, ” so at issue is only
whether it can intervene as of right under Rule 24(a)(2).
intervene as of right under Rule 24(a)(2) the prospective
intervenor must meet each of four requirements:
(1) the application for intervention must be timely; (2) the
applicant must have an interest relating to the property or
transaction which is the subject of the action; (3) the
applicant must be so situated that the disposition of the
action may, as a practical matter, impair or impede his
ability to protect that interest; (4) the applicant's
interest must be inadequately represented by the existing
parties to the suit.
Texas v. U.S., 805 F.3d 653');">805 F.3d 653, 657 (5th Cir. 2015)
(citing New Orleans Public Service, Inc. v. UnitedGas Pipe Line Co., 452');">732 F.2d 452, 463 (5th Cir.
1984)). “[F]ailure to satisfy any one element precludes
the applicant's right to intervene.” Ross v.