United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Northern Division
P. JORDAN III UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
tort action is before the Court on Plaintiffs' motion to
abstain from exercising federal jurisdiction , motion
for hearing on the motion to abstain , and supplemental
motion to abstain from exercising federal jurisdiction .
Defendant Home Depot has responded in opposition and filed a
motion to strike the supplemental motion . The Court has
reviewed the parties' filings, along with the pertinent
authorities, and concludes that abstention is inappropriate.
The motions to abstain [289, 371] and the motion for hearing
 are denied. Defendant's motion to strike  is
Facts and Procedural History
August 2014, Plaintiffs Michael and Jennifer Vincent ordered
lumber from Defendant Home Depot. They claim Defendant's
delivery driver, Damon Jones, negligently crashed the
tractor-trailer into the Vincents' garage, causing
property damage and personal injury to Michael Vincent, who
was on the roof of the garage at the time of impact. They
filed this action in federal court against Home Depot on July
28, 2015, alleging negligence-based state-law claims.
on February 5, 2016, Plaintiffs filed a second action, this
time in state court, against Home Depot and Damon Jones,
arising from the same events. Plaintiffs reiterated the claims
alleged in the federal action and added a claim for loss of
consortium and “a cause of action for Home Depot's
wrongful acts of requiring its delivery drivers to drive and
operate equipment while distracted by cell phones.”
Pls.' Mem.  at 3.
now seek dismissal of the federal action on grounds of
abstention, urging the following: (1) all of Plaintiffs'
claims “sound entirely in state law”: (2) all
Plaintiffs and all Defendants are parties in the state-court
action; and (3) Plaintiffs' additional state-court claims
cannot be pleaded in the federal action because the Court
denied their request for leave to amend. Since the filing of
their initial motion to abstain, Plaintiffs updated the
Court, through a supplemental motion, as to the status of the
state-court action, noting that it is proceeding and a trial
could be set as early as June 2017. State-Court Order [381-1].
Defendant opposes abstention and moves to strike
Plaintiffs' supplement in support of abstention. The
motions are fully briefed, and the Court is prepared to rule.
argue that the Court should abstain from hearing this dispute
under the Colorado River abstention doctrine because
a parallel proceeding is pending in state court between the
same parties and involving the same issue. Colo. River
Water Conservation Dist. v. United States, 424 U.S. 800
Colorado River abstention doctrine is based on
principles of federalism, comity, and conservation of
judicial resources.” Black Sea Inv., Ltd. v. United
Heritage Corp., 204 F.3d 647, 650 (5th Cir. 2000).
Usually, “the pendency of an action in the state court
is no bar to proceedings concerning the same matter in the
Federal court having jurisdiction.” Colo.
River, 424 U.S. at 817 (quoting McClellan v.
Carland, 217 U.S. 268, 282 (1910)). Colorado
River abstention thus represents an “extraordinary
and narrow exception” to the “virtually
unflagging obligation of the federal courts to exercise the
jurisdiction given them.” Id. at 813, 817.
The Supreme Court
has set forth six factors that may be considered and weighed
in determining whether exceptional circumstances exist that
would permit a district court to decline exercising
jurisdiction: (1) assumption by either court of jurisdiction
over a res; (2) the relative inconvenience of the forums; (3)
the avoidance of piecemeal litigation; (4) the order in which
jurisdiction was obtained by the concurrent forums; (5)
whether and to what extent federal law provides the rules of
decision on the merits; and (6) the adequacy of the state
proceedings in protecting the rights of the party invoking
Murphy v. Uncle Ben's, Inc., 168 F.3d 734, 738
(5th Cir. 1999) (citing Wilton v. Seven Falls Co.,
515 U.S. 277, 285-86 (1995)) (additional citations omitted).
“In assessing the propriety of abstention according to
these factors, a federal court must keep in mind that
‘the balance [should be] heavily weighted in favor of
the exercise of jurisdiction.'” Black Sea Inv.,
Ltd., 204 F.3d at 650 (quoting Moses H. Cone Mem.
Hosp. v. Mercury Constr. Corp., 460 U.S. 1, 16 (1983)).
In their ...