United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville
JACK W. JONES, SR., PLAINTIFFS
MIDWEST POULTRY SERVICES, LP, DEFENDANTS
Charles R. Simpson III, Senior Judge
matter is before the Court on the motion of Raven's
Trucking and National Interstate Insurance Company
(“Movants”) for leave to file an intervening
complaint as plaintiffs, ECF No. 10. Defendants did not
respond. For the reasons that follow, Movants' motion for
leave to file an intervening complaint will be granted.
Jack W. Jones, Sr. and his wife, Carol, filed suit against
Defendants Midwest Poultry Services, L.P., Hi-Grade Egg
Producers and Processors Limited Partnership, Hi-Grade Egg
Producers & Processors, and CMS Eggs, Inc. originally in
Jefferson County, Kentucky Circuit Court. Compl. 1, ECF No.
1-1. Movants moved to intervene in the state court action.
Mot. Intervene 2, ECF No. 10. The state court granted that
motion on the same day that Defendants removed the case to
this Court. St. Ct. Order, ECF No. 10-2; Not. Removal, ECF
No. 1. Movants now seek to intervene in the federal case.
Mot. Intervene, ECF No. 10.
to the state court complaint, this case arose when Mr. Jones
picked up a trailer that had been pre-loaded and sealed by
Defendants from a processing plant in Loda, Illinois.
¶ 7, ECF No. 1-1. Mr. Jones transported the trailer from
Loda to Louisville, Kentucky. Id. When Mr. Jones
opened the trailer doors at his destination, the loaded cargo
fell out of the trailer onto him, seriously injuring him.
Id. Plaintiffs allege that Defendants negligently
and carelessly loaded and failed to secure the cargo, causing
Mr. Jones' injuries. Id. ¶ 8.
their proposed intervening complaint, Movants assert that Mr.
Jones was working within the course and scope of his
employment with Raven's Trucking when he was injured.
Intervening Compl. ¶ 3, ECF No. 10-2. Movants also
assert that Raven's Trucking retains workers'
compensation coverage through National Interstate Insurance
Company, which provides workers' compensation benefits
payable to or on behalf of its employees, including Mr.
Jones. Id. ¶ 4.
their motion, Movants argue that Kentucky Revised Statutes
§ 342.700 gives them the unconditional right to assert
claims as subrogee of Mr. Jones and to recover workers'
compensation payments that have been made as a result of the
subject incident. Mot. Intervene 2, ECF No. 10. Kentucky
Revised Statutes § 342.700 states that if an employee is
awarded compensation from a third party who is found liable
in a civil action, the employer and his insurance carrier may
recover from the third party, up to the amount of indemnity
payable to the employee. Courts in Kentucky allow employers
and insurance carriers to assert their claim for subrogation
by intervening in the civil action. See Clarendon Nat.
Ins. Co. v. Vetor, 165 S.W.3d 484, 488 (Ky. Ct. App.
2005). Although intervention must meet the requirements of
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 24 in federal courts, motions
to intervene under Kentucky Revised Statutes § 342.700
are often granted. See, e.g., Lemaster v. Taylor
Indus., LLC, No. 11-30-ART, 2011 WL 1577808, at *1 (E.D.
Ky. Apr. 26, 2011) (citing Smith Petroleum Serv. v.
Monsanto, 420 F.2d 1103, 1114-15 (5th Cir. 1970)).
Rule of Civil Procedure 24(a) governs intervention of right.
Rule 24 provides, in relevant part:
[o]n timely motion, the court must permit anyone to intervene
who . . . 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
Fed. R. Civ. P. 24(a). In the Sixth Circuit, a movant must
show that (1) the application was timely; (2) the movant
possesses a substantial legal interest in the case; (3) the
movant's ability to protect its interest will be impaired
without intervention; and (4) the existing parties will not
adequately represent the movant's interest.
Blount-Hill v. Zelman, 636 F.3d 278, 283 (6th Cir.
2011). These requirements are all met here.
Movants' application was timely. The case was removed to
this Court on April 10, 2017. Not. Removal 1, ECF No. 1.
Movants moved for leave to file an intervening complaint on
April 27, 2017. Mot. Intervene 1, ECF No. 10. This happened
before the Rule 26(f) meeting. See Report 1, ECF No.
16. Thus, Movants did not delay in moving to intervene, and
the timeliness of their intervention does not prejudice any
party. Second, Movants have a substantial legal interest in
the case. They seek damages as a subrogee. Mot. Intervene 2,
ECF No. 10. Third, Movants' ability to protect their
interest will be ...