United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Southern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S
 MOTION TO REMAND
SULEYMAN OZERDEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
THE COURT is the Motion to Remand  filed by Plaintiff
Kathy White. This Motion is fully briefed. Having considered
the Motion, the record, and relevant legal authority, the
Court finds that Plaintiff's Motion to Remand  should
dispute arises out of a vehicular crash which occurred on or
about September 28, 2014, in Waveland, Mississippi.
See Compl.  at 2. While the facts of the crash
are not completely clear from the record, the incident
apparently involved Plaintiff Kathy White
(“Plaintiff”) and another individual, Paul White.
Id. at 2-3. Plaintiff alleges that the collision was
the result of Paul White's negligence, and that she
sustained “substantial personal injuries, medical
expenses, severe pain and suffering, and mental
anguish.” Id. at 3.
Allstate Insurance Company (“Defendant” or
“Allstate”) tendered policy limits of $25, 000.00
to Plaintiff on behalf of its insured Paul White, but
Plaintiff claims that this amount failed to adequately
compensate her for the extensive injuries she suffered. She
now seeks underinsured motorist coverage under her own
underinsured insurance policy, which also happens to be
issued by Allstate. Id. According to Plaintiff,
Allstate has refused to pay her the benefits to which she is
entitled without having a reasonable or arguable basis to
deny her claim. Id.
September 12, 2017, Plaintiff filed a Complaint in the
Circuit Court of Hancock County, Mississippi, naming Allstate
as the sole Defendant. Compl.  at 1. The Complaint
advances claims for uninsured motorist coverage and bad faith
failure to pay benefits. Id. Although Plaintiff has
not demanded a specific sum of monetary damages in an ad
damnum clause, the Complaint seeks damages “not
limited to the amount of the uninsured coverage available
under the applicable ALLSTATE policy, compensatory damages,
interest and costs of suit and punitive damages.”
Id. at 4.
December 15, 2017, Allstate removed the case to this Court,
invoking diversity jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1332. Notice of Removal  at 2. Plaintiff has filed the
present Motion to Remand , contending that the
amount-in-controversy requirement of § 1332 is not
satisfied. Pl.'s Mot.  at 1-2. Defendant responds
that, in light of the bad faith claim and request for an
unspecified amount of punitive damages in the Complaint, the
amount in controversy exceeds $75, 000.00. Def.'s Resp.
 at 1-2; Def.'s Mem.  at 3-7. While a copy of the
policy has not been submitted, the parties appear to agree
that the amount of the underinsured motorist benefits
available under the policy is limited to $25, 000.00.
Def.'s Resp.  at 1; Pl.'s Reply  at 3.
support of Plaintiff's request to remand, she has
submitted an Affidavit  with her Reply , in which she
purportedly attempts to limit her ability to recover damages
from Allstate. Aff. of Kathy White  at 1-2. Plaintiff
“agree[s] to never seek damages from defendant in
excess of $75, 000.00, including costs, attorney fees and
interest.” Id. at 2. Plaintiff further
“agree[s] to never seek to amend [her] complaint at a
later time to seek damages in excess of $75, 000.00.”
Relevant Legal Standards
burden is on the removing party to show that removal is
proper.” Vantage Drilling Co. v. Hsin-Chi Su,
741 F.3d 535, 537 (5th Cir. 2014). “The party seeking
to invoke federal diversity jurisdiction bears the burden of
establishing both that the parties are diverse and that the
amount in controversy exceeds $75, 000.” Garcia v.
Koch Oil Co. of Texas Inc., 351 F.3d 636, 638 (5th Cir.
2003). “Any doubts regarding whether removal
jurisdiction is proper should be resolved against federal
jurisdiction.” Vantage Drilling Co., 741 F.3d
at 537 (quotation omitted).
U.S.C. § 1332(a)(1) provides that
[t]he district courts shall have original jurisdiction of
all civil actions where the matter in controversy exceeds
the sum or value of $75, 000, exclusive of interest and
costs, and is between--
(1) citizens of different States . . . .
28 U.S.C. § 1332(a)(1). The parties do not dispute that
they are of diverse citizenship; the pertinent question is
whether the ...