United States District Court, E.D. Texas, Marshall Division
PAYNE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Piney Woods ER III LLC d/b/a Excel ER brought this action
against Defendants Centene Corporation and Celtic Insurance
Company d/b/a Arkansas Health & Wellness Insurance
Company. In its Complaint, Excel ER alleged that both
Defendants failed to properly reimburse Excel ER for
emergency medical services it provided to Defendants'
insureds. (Dkt No. 1). Centene responded by filing
this motion to dismiss Excel ER's Complaint pursuant to
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) or, alternatively,
12(b)(6). (Dkt. No. 10). After consideration, the motion is
ER is an emergency healthcare provider that operates several
freestanding emergency room facilities in Texas. Excel ER
alleges that Centene is a multi-line enterprise that offers
insurance products directly and in conjunction with its
family of companies, including Celtic, which is fully owned
by Centene. The Defendants sell Centene's Health
Insurance Marketplace product, Ambetter. Excel ER claims it
provided services to patients, including patients with
Ambetter insurance coverage, and expected to be reimbursed
for the service it provided to Defendants' insureds.
Despite apparent coverage for the services Excel ER rendered,
it claims that Defendants either did not pay or underpaid
Excel ER at least $638, 803.11. After more than a year of
unsuccessfully attempting to collect from Defendants, Excel
ER brought the present action, alleging that Defendants'
actions were unfair, deceptive, and solely calculated to
prevent-or induce Excel ER to refrain from or postpone-the
bringing of this action. (See Dkt. No. 1).
argues that the Court should grant the pending motion to
dismiss on two grounds: (1) pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1), the
Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction since Excel ER's
alleged injuries are not fairly traceable to the challenged
actions of Centene; and (2) pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), Excel
ER's Complaint fails to state a plausible claim against
Centene or allege any circumstances that would justify
disregarding Centene's separate corporate existence.
first argues that this Court should dismiss Plaintiff's
claims against it under Rule 12(b)(1) due to lack of subject
matter jurisdiction. (Dkt. No. 10 at 3). A party may move to
dismiss an action at any time if there is a “lack of
subject-matter jurisdiction.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1).
The court properly dismisses a case for lack of subject
matter jurisdiction if the court lacks the statutory or
constitutional power to adjudicate the case. See
CleanCOALition v. TXU Power, 536 F.3d 469, 473 (5th Cir.
2008) (citing Home Builders Ass'n of Mississippi,
Inc. v. City of Madison, Miss., 143 F.3d 1006, 1010 (5th
courts are courts of limited jurisdiction.” Rasul
v. Bush, 542 U.S. 466, 489 (2004) (quoting Kokkonen
v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. of Am., 511 U.S. 375, 377
(1994)). A court “must presume that a suit lies outside
this limited jurisdiction, and the burden of establishing
federal jurisdiction rests on the party seeking the federal
forum.” Howery v. Allstate Ins. Co., 243 F.3d
912, 916 (5th Cir. 2001) (citing Kokkonen, 511 U.S.
party bases subject-matter jurisdiction on diversity grounds,
federal “district courts shall have original
jurisdiction of all civil actions where” the amount in
controversy exceeds “$75, 000” and is between
“citizens of different States.” 28 U.S.C. §
1332. “[A] corporation shall be deemed to be a citizen
of every State” where it is “incorporated”
and where it has its “principal place of
business.” Id. The second requirement, also
called complete diversity, “requires that all persons
on one side of the controversy be citizens of different
states than all persons on the other side.”
McLaughlin v. Mississippi Power Co., 376 F.3d 344,
353 (5th Cir. 2004) (citing Harrison v. Prather, 404
F.2d 267, 272 (5th Cir. 1968).
ER, in its Complaint, alleges damages “in an amount not
less than $638, 803.11.” (Dkt. No. 1 at 20). This
amount is greater than the required minimum of $75, 000.
Further, Excel ER claims that it is a Texas limited liability
company with its principal place of business in Texas.
(Id. at 2). It also alleges that Centene is a
corporation incorporated in Delaware with its principal place
of business in Missouri, while Celtic is both incorporated in
and has its principal place of business in Illinois.
(Id.). Centene does not contest these allegations.
Since Excel ER is a citizen of a different state than
Defendants, complete diversity exists. Excel ER, therefore,
meets the requirements of subject matter jurisdiction on
Centene, in its Motion, attempts to improperly conflate the
issue of standing with subject matter jurisdiction. Yet, it
does not challenge this Court's jurisdiction over the
parties or argue that Excel ER has not sufficiently alleged
the elements of subject matter jurisdiction through diversity
grounds as described above. Thus, its arguments are not
persuasive at this time.
next argues that this Court should dismiss Excel ER's
claims against it under Rule 12(b)(6) since Excel ER failed
to state a claim against Centene. It argues that Excel ER
does not allege any independent ...