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Mabry v. Government Employee'S Insurance Co.

United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, Greenville Division

July 20, 2017

GEVARIUS MABRY; and CARL L. BANKS PLAINTIFFS
v.
GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE'S INSURANCE COMPANY DEFENDANT

          ORDER GRANTING REMAND

          DEBRA M. BROWN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This motor vehicle collision action is before the Court on the plaintiffs' motion to remand. Doc. #6.

         I

         Procedural History

         On September 6, 2016, Carl L. Banks filed a complaint in the Circuit Court of Coahoma County, Mississippi, against C.W. Moore and Government Employee's Insurance Company (“GEICO”). Doc. #2. In his complaint, Banks alleges that, on or about November 21, 2014, he was a passenger in a vehicle driven by Gevarius Mabry which was involved in a collision with a vehicle driven by Moore. Id. at ¶ 5. Banks further alleges that Moore was an uninsured motorist and that, therefore, he was entitled to recover from GEICO under an uninsured motorist policy. Id. at ¶ 7. The same day, Mabry, in a separate civil action in the Circuit Court of Coahoma County, filed a virtually identical complaint against Moore and GEICO. Doc. #3.

         Both state court complaints allege that “[a]s a direct and proximate result of [the] collision, Plaintiff was caused to suffer personal injury, pain and suffering, and medical expenses and may reasonably anticipate incurring future medical expenses and future pain and suffering and future emotional and mental distress and loss of wage and earning capacity.” Id. at ¶ 8; Doc. #2 at ¶ 8. Based on these allegations, each complaint seeks a judgment “in the amount of Seventy Thousand Dollars ($70, 000.00) together with prejudgment and post judgment interest and costs.” Doc. #2 at 4; Doc. #3 at 4. Additionally, both Mabry and Banks allege that they are citizens of Mississippi, that Moore is a citizen of Mississippi, and that “GEICO is a Maryland insurance company, licensed and doing business in the State of Mississippi.” Doc. #2 at ¶¶ 1-2; Doc. #3 at ¶¶ 1-2.

         On March 1, 2017, the state court issued an agreed order consolidating Mabry's action and Banks' action. Doc. #5-17. On April 19, 2017, the state court dismissed Moore from the consolidated action for the plaintiffs' failure to effect service within 120 days after the filing of the complaints. Doc. #5-20. The same day Moore was dismissed, GEICO, invoking diversity jurisdiction, removed the state court case to this Court. Doc. #1.

         The notice of removal alleges:

Plaintiffs, at the time their respective actions were commenced, were and are believed to still be citizens of Coahoma County, Mississippi. GEICO was at the time this action was commenced, and still is, a corporation organized and existing under the laws of the State of Maryland. GEICO appears herein, by and through its attorney, specifically and solely for the purpose of removing this consolidated action from state court to this court.

Id. at 3.

         On May 2, 2017, the plaintiffs filed a motion seeking remand based on a lack of diversity jurisdiction. Doc. #6. Nine days later, on May 11, 2017, GEICO responded in opposition to the plaintiffs' motion. Doc. #10. The plaintiffs did not reply.

         On July 14, 2017, this Court, noting that no party had alleged GEICO's principal place of business, directed GEICO to show cause why this case should not be dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Doc. #13. The same day, GEICO, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1653, filed an amendment to its notice of removal alleging that “GEICO was at the time this action was commenced, and still is, a corporation organized and existing under the laws of the State of Maryland and its principal place of business is 1 GEICO Boulevard, Fredericksburg, Virginia.” Doc. #14.

         II

         Standard ...


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