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.

Rogers v. Southern Design and Mechanical, Inc.

United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, El Dorado Division

August 21, 2018

LEONARD ROGERS PLAINTIFF
v.
SOUTHERN DESIGN AND MECHANICAL, INC.; GRACO, INC; NIBCO, INC.; PARKER-HANNIFIN CORPORATION; JOHN DOES III-X DEFENDANTS PARKER-HANNIFIN CORPORATION
v.
GRACO, INC; NIBCO, INC.; SOUTHERN DESIGN AND MECHANICAL, INC. SOUTHERN DESIGN AND MECHANICAL, INC.
v.
GRACO, INC.

          ORDER

          SUSAN O. HICKEY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Before the Court are Plaintiff's Motion to Remand (ECF No. 27) and Motion to Remand as to Nibco, Inc.'s Amended Notice of Removal. ECF No. 39. Separate Defendant Nibco, Inc. (hereinafter “Nibco”) has filed responses to both motions. ECF Nos. 36, 41. Plaintiff has filed replies to Nibco's responses. ECF Nos. 38, 44. The Court finds this matter ripe for consideration.

         BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff filed his original complaint against ten John Doe defendants on June 25, 2015, in the Circuit Court of Union County, Arkansas. ECF No. 1-3, p. 1. In his initial complaint, Plaintiff alleged that while working for Chemtura Corporation, doing business as Great Lakes Chemical Corporation, a pneumatic pump malfunctioned and caused him to be exposed to bromine, causing severe chemical burns. On February 1, 2016, Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint (hereinafter “First Amended Complaint”), asserting that Separate Defendant Graco, Inc. (hereinafter “Graco”) was the manufacturer and assembler of the pneumatic pump at issue and that Separate Defendant Southern Design and Mechanical, Inc. (hereinafter “Southern Design”) sold the pneumatic pump to Great Lakes Chemical Corporation. ECF No. 1-3, pp. 7, 10. Plaintiff states that Graco is incorporated under Minnesota law and that Graco maintains its principal place of business in Minnesota. ECF No. 1-3, p. 7, ¶ 6. Plaintiff further states that Southern Design was incorporated in Arkansas and maintains its principal place of business in Arkansas. ECF No. 1-3, p. 7, ¶ 5. Plaintiff alleged causes of action for negligence, strict liability, breach of implied warranty of merchantability, and breach of warranty for a particular purpose.

         On April 11, 2017, Plaintiff filed a Second Amended Complaint which included Graco and Southern Design as defendants and also added Nibco and Separate Defendant Parker-Hannifan Corporation (hereinafter “Parker-Hannifan”) as defendants. ECF No. 1-3, p. 47. The Second Amended Complaint alleged that Nibco and Parker-Hannifan designed, manufactured, distributed, and/or sold various components that were used on or in conjunction with the pneumatic pump at issue. ECF No. 1-3, p. 50. Plaintiff alleges that Nibco was incorporated in Indiana.[1] ECF No. 1-3, p. 48, ¶ 8. Plaintiff further states that Parker-Hannifan was organized under the laws of Ohio.[2] ECF No. 1-3, p. 49, ¶ 9.

         On March 14, 2018, Nibco removed this action from the Union County Circuit Court on the basis of diversity jurisdicition. ECF No. 1. Nibco asserts that the only non-diverse defendant- Southern Design-was fraudulently joined and that, therefore, this Court has diversity jurisdiction. ECF No. 1, ¶ 8. On March 30, 2018, Plaintiff filed the instant Motion to Remand. ECF No. 27. Plaintiff asserts that the Notice of Removal was untimely and that Southern Design was not fraudulently joined and that, accordingly, this Court lacks jurisdiction. On April 6, 2018, Nibco filed, without leave of Court, an Amended Notice of Removal re-asserting that removal was timely, but in the alternative that the time limit for removal on the basis of diversity is inapplicable because Plaintiff acted in bad faith to prevent timely removal. ECF No. 29, ¶ 29. On April 17, 2018, Plaintiff filed the instant Motion to Remand as to Nibco, Inc.'s Amended Notice of Removal, reasserting the arguments made in his initial Motion to Remand and further denying Nibco's contention that he acted in bad faith. ECF No. 39. Plaintiff further argues that the Amended Notice of Removal was not properly brought before the Court and therefore should not be considered.

         LEGAL STANDARD

         “Defendants may remove civil actions to federal court only if the claims could have been originally filed in federal court.” Cent. Iowa Power Coop. v. Midwest Indep. Transmission Sys. Operator, Inc., 561 F.3d 904, 912 (8th Cir. 2009). “The proponents of federal jurisdiction bear ‘the burden to establish federal subject matter jurisdiction,' and ‘all doubts about federal jurisdiction must be resolved in favor of remand.'” Moore v. Kan. City Pub. Sch., 828 F.3d 687, 691 (8th Cir. 2016) (quoting Cent. Iowa Power Coop., 561 F.3d at 912).

         Under 28 U.S.C. § 1446(b)(1), a notice of removal must “be filed within 30 days after the receipt by the defendant . . . of a copy of the initial pleading setting forth the claim upon which such action or proceeding is based[.]” If an action is not initially removable under § 1446(b)(1), “a notice of removal may be filed within thirty 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(b)(3). However, “a case may not be removed under subsection (b)(3) on the basis of jurisdiction conferred by section 1332 more than 1 year after commencement of the action, unless the district court finds that the plaintiff has acted in bad faith in order to prevent a defendant from removing the action.” 28 U.S.C. § 1446(c)(1).

         DISCUSSION

         The Court will first determine whether Nibco's removal of this matter was timely and then, if necessary, address the issue of fraudulent joinder.

         I. Timeliness of Removal

         Plaintiff contends that this action was commenced on June 25, 2015-the date on which the initial complaint was filed against John Doe defendants. Accordingly, Plaintiff argues that the one-year period for removal based on diversity expired on June 25, 2016, and, therefore, Nibco's removal on March 14, 2018, was untimely. Alternatively, Plaintiff argues that at the very latest, this action commenced on February 1, 2016, when he filed his First Amended Complaint, and that Nibco's removal is untimely based on that date.

         In response, Nibco asserts that this case was timely removed because it was removed within one year of the date on which Nibco was added as a Defendant on April 11, 2017. Alternatively, Nibco asserts that Plaintiff acted in bad faith to ...


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.