Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Palir v. Laboratory Corp of America

United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Lake Charles Division

December 13, 2019

JOHN PALIR, ET AL
v.
LABORATORY CORP OF AMERICA, ET AL

          HICKS CHIEF JUDGE

          MEMORANDUM RULING

          KATHLEEN KAY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Before the court is a Motion to for Leave to File a First Supplemental and Amending Complaint filed by plaintiffs John and Katie Palir. Doc. 16. The motion is opposed by defendant Laboratory Corp of America (“LabCorp”). Docs. 24, 31. The motion has been referred to the undersigned in accordance with the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636.

         For the reasons that follow the motion is DENIED.

         I.

         Background

         Plaintiffs filed suit in state court alleging that on or about October 12, 2017 John Palir was injured when a phlebotomist employed by LabCorp “negligently stabbed a needle into [his] right arm causing immediate severe pain, numbness, and burning in his right arm and hand.” Doc. 1, att. 1, ¶ 6. He named LabCorp and an “Unknown Defendant Employee” as defendants. Id. at ¶ 1. He alleged that the unknown employee was negligent and that LabCorp was liable “under the doctrine of respondeat superior for the negligent actions of its employee who was acting within the course and scope of his/her employment at the time of the incident.” Id. at ¶ 11.

         On July 26, 2019, in response to plaintiffs' discovery, LabCorp identified the unknown employee as Sharonda Lewis. Doc. 16, att. 3, pp. 3, 4. On September 3, 2019 plaintiff filed the motion before the court in order to name the previously unnamed employee. Doc. 16, att. 2. The parties do not dispute that Ms. Lewis is a Louisiana citizen. Since plaintiffs are also Louisiana citizens, allowing the amended complaint to add Ms. Lewis as a defendant would destroy diversity. We must therefore determine if such amendment should be allowed.

         II.

         Law and Analysis

         Under 28 U.S.C. § 1447(e) if after a case is removed to federal court the plaintiff seeks to join an additional defendant whose joinder would destroy subject matter jurisdiction, the court may “deny joinder, or permit joinder and remand the action to the State court.” According to the jurisprudence in the Fifth Circuit, a motion to amend a pleading to add a non-diverse defendant is more closely scrutinized than an ordinary amendment under Rule 15(a) where leave to amend is given freely when justice so requires. Hensgens v. Deere & Co., 833 F.2d 1179, 1182 (5th Cir. 1987).

         When faced with a motion to amend to add a non-diverse party, the court must balance “the defendant's interest in maintaining the federal forum with the competing interests of not having parallel lawsuits.” Id. The motion should be examined using the following factors: (1) whether the purpose of the amendment is to defeat federal jurisdiction; (2) whether plaintiff has been dilatory in asking for the amendment; (3) whether plaintiff will be significantly injured if the amendment is not allowed; and (4) any other factor bearing on the equities. Id. If, after consideration of these factors, the court allows the amendment it must remand the matter to state court. If the amendment is denied, the federal court retains jurisdiction. Id.

         We will examine each of the four factors albeit in a different order.

         First, we find that plaintiffs were not dilatory in asking for the amendment. Plaintiffs discovered the identity of LabCorp's employee on July 26, 2019, and filed their motion to amend less than six weeks later on ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.