ACE is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and has numerous American stockholders. However, many of ACE Limited's officers and directors, who are not US residents, might be immune from civil liability under US Securities laws designed to ensure corporate accountability. This is a significant benefit of the ACE board's decision to reincorporate in Switzerland during 2008.
ACE Group Unit Seeks Federal Court Venue for Damage Suit
The ACE Group unit is seeking the change to U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, Shreveport Division, in a suit filed against it by Cynthia Hendrickson, individually and on behalf of two minor children.
According to ACE’s removal notice, Hendrickson had originally sued ACE, CETCO Oilfield Services and Jonathan Rodgers in state court in Louisiana. Her petition alleged that she has sustained serious personal injuries as a result of unspecified acts committed by the defendants. According to Ace, Hendrickson claim physical pain and suffering, as well as mental pain and anguish, as sources of her injuries and said she will require ongoing medical treatment.
The removal notice further claims that Hendrickson said her injuries were sustained to her neck, back, shoulder and head, and she reportedly has already undergone a surgical procedure to her left ulnar nerve.
ACE American seeks removal based on a diversity of citizenship. The insurer has headquarters in Philadelphia, while CETCO is based in suburban Chicago. According to ACE’s notice of removal, Rodgers reportedly is a citizen of Texas who has not yet been served with the state lawsuit.
In addition to diversity of citizenship, defendants’ seek removal must show the sought-after damages exceed $75,000. According to ACE, Louisiana state law specifically bars plaintiffs from requesting a specific dollar amount of damages in a Petition for Damages. In this action, ACE American said that Hendrickson’s last demand for damages “was well in excess” of $100,000.
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