United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division
GRAND HOTEL HOSPITALITY LLC d/b/a GRAND HOTEL DALLAS, Plaintiff,
CERTAIN UNDERWRITERS AT LLOYD'S OF LONDON ET AL., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
J. BOYLE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is Plaintiff Grand Hotel Hospitality LLC's
(Grand Hotel) motion to remand. Doc. 6.For the reasons stated
below, the Court GRANTS the motion and
REMANDS this case to state court.
a breach-of-contract case. On September 20, 2016, a fire
severely damaged Grand Hotel. Doc. 1-3, Pl.'s Original
Pet., 2. Defendant Certain Underwriters at Llyod's of
London (Llyod's of London) is Grand Hotel's insurer.
Grand Hotel sued Defendants Llyod's of London, McClarens,
Inc.,  and Brandon Weir in Texas state court,
asserting claims for breach of contract, violations of the
Texas Insurance Code and the Texas Deceptive Practices Act,
and common-law bad faith. Id. at 4-5.
removed on the basis of diversity jurisdiction. See
Docs. 6, 14.Defendants assert in their notice of removal that
the parties are completely diverse when disregarding the
state citizenship of Brandon Weir, the insurance adjuster who
evaluated Grand Hotel's loss. Doc. 14, Defs.' Am.
Notice of Removal, 5-6. And it says the Court should overlook
Weir's Texas citizenship because Grand Hotel improperly
joined him as a defendant. Id. Grand Hotel filed a
motion to remand, arguing Weir is a proper defendant because
it pleaded an independent cause of action under the Texas
Insurance Code against Weir. Doc. 6, Pl.'s Mot. to
Remand, 12-16, see also Pl.'s Resp., 2-8. Grand
Hotel's motion to remand is ripe for consideration.
courts are courts of limited jurisdiction.” Howery
v. Allstate Ins. Co., 243 F.3d 912, 916 (5th Cir. 2001).
District courts “must presume that a suit lies outside
this limited jurisdiction, and the burden of establishing
federal jurisdiction rests on the party seeking the federal
federal removal statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a), allows a
defendant to remove any civil action to federal court if that
action falls within the district court's original
jurisdiction. This case was removed on the basis of diversity
jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1332. A district court
has diversity jurisdiction over “all civil actions
where the matter in controversy exceeds the sum or value of
$75, 000 . . . and is between . . . citizens of different
States.” 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a)(1). But to invoke the
statute, the parties must be completely diverse, meaning
“each plaintiff must be of a different citizenship than
each defendant.” Lowe v. Ingalls Shipbuilding, A
Div. of Litton Sys., Inc., 723 F.2d 1173, 1177 (5th Cir.
in-state defendant is improperly joined, a court may
disregard the in-state defendant's citizenship for the
purpose of determining whether there is complete diversity.
Cuevas v. BAC Home Loans Serv., LP, 648 F.3d 242,
249 (5th Cir. 2011). The burden to establish improper joinder
is on the removing party, and it is a heavy one. Id.
establish improper joinder, the removing party must
demonstrate “(1) actual fraud in the pleading of
jurisdictional facts, or (2) inability of the plaintiff to
establish a cause of action against the non-diverse party in
state court.” Smallwood v. Ill. Cent. Ry. Co.,
385 F.3d 568, 573 (5th Cir. 2004). Defendants assert only the
second method, under which the removing party meets its
burden by showing that “there is no reasonable ...