United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Western Division
OPINION AND ORDER
BRAMLETTE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
cause is before the Court on a Motion for Change of Venue Due
to Improper Jurisdiction [Doc. 33] and an
Amended Motion for Change of Venue Due to Improper
Jurisdiction [Doc. 34] filed by Defendant
Cox Architecture, P.A. (“Cox”). Although styled
as motions for change of venue, Cox39;s motions actually
seek to remand this case -- not merely to change venue.
Having considered the motions, responses, and applicable
statutory and case law, and being otherwise fully informed in
the premises, the Court finds as follows:
declaratory judgment action stems from the collapse of a
downtown McComb, Mississippi building due to
over-accumulation of water on its roof.
diversity jurisdiction, the building39;s New York-citizen
insurer sued in this Court for a declaration voiding two
insurance policies on the building on the basis of
misrepresentations by its Mississippi-citizen insureds.
Joined as defendants are the insureds and a litany of
Mississippi-citizen individuals and businesses potentially
affected by any adjudication of rights under the
policies. One such defendant moves to remand,
contending diversity is lacking because the plaintiff-insurer
is deemed to share the Mississippi citizenship of its
insureds under 28 U.S.C. § 1332(c)(1).
Hudson Specialty Insurance Company (“Hudson”) is
a New York corporation with a New York principal place of
business. [Doc. 1, ¶2] Defendant Terrance Alexander is a
Mississippi citizen and the principal of Defendants Talex
Enterprises, LLC (“Talex”) and Jubilee Performing
Arts Center, Inc. (“Jubilee”), both Mississippi
citizens. [Doc. 1, ¶¶3-5] Defendant Cox is a
Mississippi citizen and one of seventeen persons or entities
Hudson names “so that the declarations and relief
sought herein may be binding upon them.” [Doc. 1,
The 2016 Alexander Policy
2016, Hudson issued a policy of insurance[2" name="FN2" id="FN2">2] to Alexander
covering property located at 220-230 Main Street, McComb,
Mississippi (the “Main Street Building”) and 730
Vogel Street, McComb, Mississippi (the “Vogel Street
Building”). [Doc. 1, ¶13]
January 2017, a roof drain on the Main Street Building
ruptured, and Alexander made a claim under the policy. [Doc.
1, ¶¶16-17] About a month later, Hudson issued
Alexander a check to cover the repairs. [Doc. 1, ¶19]
But the roof, according to Hudson, was never repaired. [Doc.
The 2017 Talex Policy
20, 2017, Hudson renewed Alexander39;s policy[3" name="FN3" id="FN3">3] on the Main
Street Building and the Vogel Street Building and issued a
separate policy to Talex (the “2017 Talex
Policy”). [Doc. 1, ¶26]
2017 Talex Policy includes a $600, 000 general aggregate
limit and a $300, 000 per-occurrence limit. And it lists both
the Main Street Building and the Vogel Street Building as
covered premises. [Doc. 1-3, 2');">p. 12]
alleges that Alexander misrepresented, during renewal
negotiations, that the Main Street Building roof had been
repaired and that Talex owned the Vogel Street Building.
[Doc. 1, ¶¶22, 23] Hudson also alleges that
Alexander failed to disclose that a contractor had expressed