United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville
ESTATE OF GREGORY B. MARTIN, by and through JANET L. JOZWIAK, as Executor, et al. PLAINTIFF
METLIFE INSURANCE COMPANY USA DEFENDANT
Charles R. Simpson III, Senior Judge United States District
matter is before the court on the motion of plaintiff, the
Estate of Gregory B. Martin (“plaintiff”), to
remand the case to Jefferson Circuit Court. ECF No. 4.
Defendant Metlife Insurance Company USA (“Met
USA”) responded. ECF No. 5. Plaintiff subsequently
replied. ECF No. 7. For the reasons stated below,
plaintiff's motion will be granted.
case arises from a motor vehicle collision that occurred on
November 13, 2015 in Louisville, Kentucky, resulting in the
death of Gregory B. Martin. ECF No. 1-1. Martin, a citizen of
New York, was in Kentucky visiting his ailing father.
Id. at 2-3. While sitting in standstill traffic on
the Gene Snyder Freeway, another driver, Megan Keane,
allegedly crashed her vehicle into Martin's at a speed of
approximately 72 miles per hour. Id. at 35-36. The
force of the crash caused Martin's vehicle to collide
with the vehicle stopped in front of his. Id. at 36.
Emergency personnel responded to the scene, and Martin was
transported to University of Louisville Hospital, where he
was pronounced dead later that evening. Id. Keane, a
citizen of Kentucky, was allegedly insured by Met USA.
November 10, 2016, plaintiff filed suit against Keane and Met
USA in Jefferson Circuit Court. ECF No. 1-1. Plaintiff
asserted claims for negligence and loss of consortium against
Keane, and claims for statutory and common law bad faith
against Met USA. Id. Met USA accepted service of
process at its New York address on November 22, 2016. ECF No.
1-1, p. 9.
26, 2017-over eight months after the suit was filed-Met USA
removed the case to this court, claiming diversity of
citizenship jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a). ECF
No. 1. Met USA asserted that it was not the proper defendant
in this case because Keane's insurance company was
actually Metropolitan Property and Casualty Insurance Company
(“Met P&C”). Id. at ¶ 5. Met
USA further asserted that it was a citizen of North Carolina,
not New York, and that Met P&C was a citizen of Rhode
Island. Id. at ¶¶ 4-5. It also asserted
that the amount-in-controversy exceeded $75, 000.
Id. at ¶ 7.
now seeks to remand the case to Jefferson Circuit Court.
to federal court is proper for “any civil action
brought in a State court of which the district courts of the
United States have original jurisdiction . . .” 28
U.S.C. § 1441(a). A federal district court has original
diversity jurisdiction over an action between citizens of
different states where the amount in controversy exceeds $75,
000, exclusive of interest and costs. 28 U.S.C. § 1332.
properly remove a case from state court to federal court,
“[t]he notice of removal . . . shall be filed within 30
days after receipt by the defendant . . . of a copy of the
initial pleading setting forth the claim for relief upon
which such action or proceeding is based . . .” 28
U.S.C. § 1446(b). If a case is not initially removable,
but becomes removable after the 30-day time period, “a
notice of removal may be filed within 30 days after receipt
by the defendant . . . of a copy of an amended pleading,
motion, order, or other paper from which it may first be
ascertained that the case is one which is or has become
removable.” 28 U.S.C. § 1446(c)(3).
court of limited jurisdiction, a district court is required
to remand any case where federal subject matter is lacking.
28 U.S.C. § 1447(c). “All doubts as to the
propriety of removal are resolved in favor of remand.”
Coyne v. American Tobacco Co., 183 F.3d 488, 493
(6th Cir. 1999).
argues that this case should be remanded to Jefferson Circuit
Court because (1) Met USA failed to comply with the
requirements for notice of removal under 28 U.S.C. §
1446, and (2) there is a lack of complete diversity amongst
the parties. Met USA argues, by contrast, that it properly
filed notice of removal once there was complete diversity of
parties in accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 1446(c)(3). These
arguments will be addressed in further detail below.