United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Southern Division
ESTATE OF WILLIAM M. MONTGOMERY, DECEASED, AND ANNE M. KIMMELL, EXECUTRIX PLAINTIFFS
CAREGIVERS SERVICES, L.L.C. D/B/A COMFORT KEEPERS DEFENDANT
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFFS'
MOTION  TO REMAND
SULEYMAN OZERDEN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
THE COURT are Plaintiffs Estate of William M. Montgomery,
Deceased, and Anne M. Kimmell, Executrix's
(“Plaintiffs”) Motion  to Remand. Having
considered the parties' submissions, the record as a
whole, and relevant legal authority, the Court finds that it
possesses subject matter jurisdiction over this action
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1332. The Motion is not well
taken and should be denied.
Estate of William M. Montgomery, Deceased, and Anne M.
Kimmell, Executrix (“Plaintiffs”), filed this
action on April 10, 2018, in the Circuit Court of Harrison
County, Mississippi, First Judicial District, Cause Number
A2401-18-81. Compl. [1-2] at 3. The Complaint advances causes
of action for negligence and breach of contract and seeks
damages for: (1) a broken left ankle; (2) a broken right
tibia; (3) contusions to head and shoulder; (4) pain and
suffering; (5) a shortened life with poor quality; (6)
extensive hospital and other consequential bills; and (7)
other damages to be shown at trial. Id. at 5-7.
Caregivers Services, L.L.C. d/b/a Comfort Keepers
(“Defendant”) removed the case on the basis of
diversity jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1332. Notice of
Removal  at 1-3. The Notice of Removal asserts that the
parties are of diverse citizenship and that the amount in
controversy exceeds the jurisdictional minimum of $75,
000.00. Id. Plaintiffs have filed a
Motion  to Remand that does not deny that the parties are
diverse, but argues that the amount in controversy does not
exceed $74, 999.00. Mot. to Remand  at 1-4.
Defendant's Response in Opposition  maintains that,
based upon the nature of the damages pled which include
extensive medical bills, removal was proper because it is
apparent from the Complaint that Plaintiffs are seeking in
excess of $75, 000.00. Resp. in Opp'n  at 1-4.
U.S.C. § 1441 provides for the removal of civil actions
brought in a state court of which the district courts have
original jurisdiction. 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a) (2012). Under
28 U.S.C. § 1332, “[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 . . .
citizens of different States . . . .” 28 U.S.C. §
courts are courts of limited jurisdiction, having
subject-matter jurisdiction only over those matters
specifically designated by the Constitution or Congress.
Halmekangas v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co., 603
F.3d 290, 292 (5th Cir. 2010) (citing Epps v.
Bexar-Medina-Atascosa Counties Water Improvement Dist. No.
1, 665 F.2d 594, 595 (5th Cir. 1982)). For this reason,
removal statutes are subject to strict construction. Hood
ex. rel. Miss. v. JP Morgan Chase & Co., 737 F.3d
78, 92 (5th Cir. 2013); Willy v. Coastal Corp., 855
F.2d 1160, 1164 (5th Cir. 1988). Doubts about whether federal
jurisdiction exists following removal must be resolved
against a finding of jurisdiction. Acuna v. Brown &
Root, Inc., 200 F.3d 335, 339 (5th Cir. 2000) (citing
Willy, 855 F.2d at 1164). The party seeking removal
bears the burden of establishing federal jurisdiction over
the state court suit. Boone v. Citigroup, Inc., 416
F.3d 382, 388 (5th Cir. 2005); Willy, 855 F.2d at
Diversity jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. §
record reflects, and the parties do not dispute, that they
are of diverse citizenship. At issue is whether the amount in
controversy is satisfied. According to § 1446(c)(2),
[i]f removal of a civil action is sought on the basis of the
jurisdiction conferred by section 1332(a), the sum demanded
in good faith in the initial pleading shall be deemed to be
the amount in controversy . . . except that-
(A) the notice of removal may assert the amount in
controversy if the ...