ST. CHARLES SURGICAL HOSPITAL, L.L.C., Plaintiff - Appellee
LOUISIANA HEALTH SERVICE & INDEMNITY COMPANY, doing business as Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Louisiana; BLUE CROSS & BLUE SHIELD OF LOUISIANA, INCORPORATED, Defendants - Appellants
from the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of Louisiana
HAYNES, GRAVES, and HO, Circuit Judges.
C. HO, CIRCUIT JUDGE.
Cross seeks removal to federal court under the federal
officer removal statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1442, on the ground
that it is sued here in its capacity as an administrator of
health care benefits for federal employees. Three of our
sister circuits have allowed removal under such
circumstances. See Goncalves ex rel. Goncalves v. Rady
Children's Hosp. San Diego, 865 F.3d 1237, 1247 (9th
Cir. 2017); Jacks v. Meridian Res. Co., LLC, 701
F.3d 1224, 1235 (8th Cir. 2012); Anesthesiology Assocs.
of Tallahassee v. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Fla., Inc.,
2005 WL 6717869, at *2 (11th Cir. 2005). We join our sister
circuits in allowing Blue Cross to remove, and accordingly
reverse the district court's judgment to the contrary.
Charles Surgical Hospital, L.L.C. sued Louisiana Health
Service & Indemnity Company, d/b/a Blue Cross/Blue Shield
of Louisiana and Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Louisiana,
Inc. in Louisiana state court for violating Louisiana law.
Under Louisiana law, when an insurance company has notice
that a patient has assigned benefits to a hospital, the
insurance company is required to pay the hospital, rather
than the patient. See La. R.S. § 40:2010. St.
Charles alleged that Blue Cross violated the Louisiana
assignment statute by paying benefits directly to patients
rather than to St. Charles, despite the fact that Blue Cross
had notice that the patients had assigned those benefits to
Cross removed the case to federal court based on the federal
officer removal statute. 28 U.S.C. § 1442(a)(1). St.
Charles moved to remand and also sought attorney's fees.
The district court granted both motions. Blue Cross appealed.
review a district court's remand order de novo. See
Sherrod v. Am. Airlines, Inc., 132 F.3d 1112, 1117 (5th
federal officer removal statute allows a defendant to remove
a state court action to federal court, if the state court
action was brought against:
The United States or any agency thereof or any officer
(or any person acting under that officer) of the
United States or of any agency thereof, in an official or
individual capacity, for or relating to any act under color
of such office or on account of any right, title or authority
claimed under any Act of Congress for the apprehension or
punishment of criminals or the collection of the revenue.
28 U.S.C. § 1442(a)(1) (emphasis added).
claim removal as a "person acting under" an officer
of the United States, a party must show (1) that he is a
person within the meaning of the statute; (2) that he acted
under the direction of a federal officer; (3) that a causal
nexus exists between his actions under color of federal
office and the plaintiff's claims; and (4) that he has a
colorable federal defense. See Bartel v. Alcoa S.S. Co.,
Inc., 805 F.3d 169, 172 (5th Cir. 2015) (citing
Charles agrees that Blue Cross has satisfied the first
condition of removal-that Blue Cross is a "person"
under the federal officer removal statute-but contests the
remaining three conditions. We address each in turn, and
ultimately conclude that Blue Cross has satisfied all