Court Grants Remand Based on Lack of Complete Diversity

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United States District Court, Southern District of Illinois, February 20, 2020

ILLINOIS – The plaintiffs, Arland and Dina Wieland, originally filed the instant matter in the Circuit Court of the Third Judicial Circuit, Madison County, alleging that Arland sustained injuries due to asbestos exposure. Trial in the matter started on Feb. 20, 2020 and on Feb. 19, the defendant ArvinMeritor removed the matter, asserting diversity jurisdiction. The plaintiffs filed an emergency motion for remand. 

The plaintiffs are citizens of New Mexico. In their notice of removal, ArvinMeritor asserted that only two of the defendants remain in the case: ArvinMeritor, an Indiana corporation with a principal place of business in Michigan, and PACCAR, a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in Washington. However, the plaintiffs assert and the record supports, that there is an additional defendant remaining in the case, Caterpillar Inc., Caterpillar is a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in Illinois.  “Although Plaintiffs and Caterpillar have engaged in the settlement negotiations, the parties have not reached an agreement.”  Furthermore, the state court docket lists Caterpillar as an active defendant. 

The court held it lacks subject matter jurisdiction, remanding the case back to the Circuit Court of the Third Judicial Circuit, Madison County, Illinois. The court maintained limited jurisdiction for the purposes of resolving the plaintiffs’ request for attorneys’ fees, costs, and sanctions. 

Read the case decision here.