United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Northern Division
AIX SPECIALITY INS. CO., PLAINTIFF
PEBBLE CREEK HOLDINGS, LLC; B&B MANAGEMENT GROUP, LLC; ANTONIA HARRISON, INDIVIDUALLY AND ON BEHALF OF THE WRONGFUL DEATH BENEFICIARIES OF FREDERICK WILLIAMS, JR., DECEASED; and JOHN DOES 1-20. DEFENDANTS
T. WINGATE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE
THIS COURT are three interrelated motions: defendant B &
B Management Group, LLC's Motion to Dismiss [Docket no.
4]; defendant Pebble Creek Holdings, LLC's Motion to
Dismiss [Docket no. 5]; and plaintiff AIX Specialty Ins.
Co.'s Motion for Leave to File Amended Complaint [Docket
no. 14]. Defendant Antonia Harrison joined in both motions to
dismiss [Docket no. 7].
motions to dismiss, at core, center on a certain state court
lawsuit, commenced before the filing of the instant complaint
in this federal forum. The movant defendants herein contend
that, all of the rights of the respective parties herein are
being litigated in that state court law suit on the identical
issues presented sub judice. Arguing that this
parallel state court litigation ultimately will resolve this
entire litigation here, defendants Pebble Creek Holdings,
Inc. and B&B Management Group, LLC ask this court, on the
authority of Brillhart v. Excess Ins. Co. of
America, 316 U.S. 491 (1942) to dismiss the present
AIX opposes this approach, campaigning that Colorado
River Water Conservation Dist. v. United States, 424
U.S. 800 (1976) should control this court's decision.
that scenario, this court would abstain from ruling on this
case either by dismissing the litigation, or by staying this
federal lawsuit pending the outcome of the state court
Motion for Leave to File Amended Complaint [Docket no. 14]
contains AIX' request to amend its complaint to rescind
its claims for attorney's fees and costs in its ad
court carefully has studied the motions and the triggering
law and now announces its decision on the motions urged. For
the following reasons, this court finds the Motions to
Dismiss not well-taken and, therefore, DENIES both [Docket
nos. 4 & 5].
reviewing the pleadings of the parties, and the relevant
jurisprudence, this court is persuaded that AIX' Motion
for Leave to File Amended Complaint [Docket no. 14] is
well-taken. Therefore, for the reasons stated infra
this court GRANTS AIX' Motion for Leave to File Amended
Complaint [Docket no. 14].
AIX Specialty Insurance Company (hereinafter referred to as
“AIX”) is a Delaware corporation with its
principle place of business in Connecticut. AIX specializes
in insurance coverage.
Pebble Creek Holdings, LLC (hereinafter referred to as
“Pebble Creek”) is a Mississippi limited
liability company with its principle place of business in
California. Pebble Creek is alleged to be the owner of the
Pebble Creek Apartments in Jackson, Mississippi.
B & B Management Group, LLC (hereinafter referred to as
“B&B”) is a Mississippi limited liability
company with its principle place of business in Mississippi.
B&B is alleged to be the management company for the
Pebble Creek Apartments.
Antonia Harrison (hereinafter referred to as
“Harrison”) is an adult resident of Hinds County,
Mississippi. It is unclear from the pleadings in the state
court lawsuit [Docket no. 4-1], or the pleadings in the
instant lawsuit, how Harrison is related to the decedent,
Frederick Williams. It is clear, however, that Harrison is
suing and defending in her own behalf and as a wrongful death
beneficiary of Frederick Williams.
court is tasked initially with determining whether it has
subject matter jurisdiction. AIX, in its complaint, alleges
this court has diversity subject matter jurisdiction pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 1332. [Docket no., 1 ¶7]. The
defendants have not challenged this assertion of AIX. Even
so, a federal court must sua sponte confirm its
subject matter jurisdiction, since federal courts possess
limited subject matter jurisdiction. Having made that independent
assessment, this court finds the parties are completely
diverse and that the minimum amount in
controversymandated by 28 U.S.C. § 1332 is
present; therefore, this court finds it possesses diversity
subject matter jurisdiction under § 1332.
February 6, 2012, AIX issued to Pebble Creek an insurance
policy numbered IPZ-CL-0020157-0, styled Commercial General
Liability, covering the apartments and pool area located at
5255 Manhattan Road, Jackson, Mississippi. The policy in
question was in effect from February 6, 2012 through February
6, 2013. The policy afforded coverage to Pebble Creek with
$1, 000, 000 in liability limits for each occurrence. [Docket
no. 1, ¶ 9].
4, 2012, Frederick Williams (referred to hereinafter as
“Williams”) was shot and killed while visiting
his friends who lived at Pebble Creek Apartments. [Docket no.
1, ¶ 11]. Supposedly, Harrison subsequently, on July 3,
2015, filed a lawsuit in the Circuit Court of Hinds County,
Mississippi against Pebble Creek and B&B ...