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The Collaborative Clearinghouse for Lawsuits and Other Claims Against ACE Group Insurance Companies

GAREL v. ACE AMERICAN INSURANCE COMPANY et al

ATTENTION: It is possible that this information may no longer be current and therefore may be inaccurate. The index contains both open and closed cases and is not a complete list of cases in which an ACE Insurance Group company is involved. This information is provided to give interested persons an idea of the issues disputed in the indexed cases. For a full understanding of a case, one should read the rest of the court file, including the response. For the most up-to-date and complete information on a case, visit www.pacer.gov or contact the clerk of the relevant court.

Case Number: 
2:13-cv-05778 Search Pacer
ACE Group party(s): 
Opposing Party: 
Carole Garel
Court Type: 
Federal
US District Court: 
Eastern District of Louisiana
Date Filed: 
Sep 6 2013

"II. PLEADINGS AND PROCESS

2. Copies of this Notice of Removal have been served on Plaintiff’s counsel of record and filed with the Clerk of Court for the 24th Judicial District Court for the Parish of Jefferson, State of Louisiana, in accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 1446(d).1

3. Attached as Exhibit “A” in globo are copies of all processes, pleadings and orders served on Defendants in accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 1446(a). All Defendants join in and consent to the removal of the action in accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 1446(b)(2)(A). Accordingly, the "rule of unanimity" established in Getty Oil Corp. v. Insurance Co. of North America, 841 F. 2d 1254, 1262-63 (5th Cir. 1998), is met.

4. This Court is proper for removal as the Eastern District of Louisiana encompasses Jefferson Parish where the above captioned civil action is currently pending.2

5. Defendants reserve the right to amend or supplement this Petition of Removal and to file post-removal affidavits and exhibits, if necessary.

6. Plaintiff served Ace American Insurance Company with the Petition for Damages, through its agent for service of process, the Louisiana Secretary of State on May 21, 2013.

7. On June 19, 2013, Plaintiff filed her First Amended Petition naming additional Defendants, Cargotec Holding, Inc. and Terry L. Stevens.

8. On June 26, 2013, Cargotec Holding, Inc., and Ace American Insurance Company were served with the First Amended Petition for Damages.

9. On August 10, 2013, Terry L. Stevens was served with the First Amended Petition for Damages via certified mail through the Louisiana Long Arm Statutes, La. R.S. § 13:3201, et. seq.3
3 See attached, Exhibit “B”, Correspondence from Plaintiff’s counsel verifying date of service of process.

10. On September 6, 2013, Defendants timely filed the instant Notice of Removal which is within thirty (30) days of receipt of notice in accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 1446(b).

11. This action is removable based on diversity jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1332. The parties are completely diverse and the amount in controversy exceeds the sum or value of $75,000.00, exclusive of interests and costs.

III. THIS COURT HAS DIVERSITY JURISDICTION
Complete diversity of citizenship exists as required by 28 U.S.C. § 1332.

13. Plaintiff, Carole F. Garel, is an individual of full age and majority domiciled in Jefferson Parish, State of Louisiana.4 Carole F. Garel is a citizen of Louisiana.
4 See attached Exhibit “A”, Petition for Damages ¶1.
5 See attached Exhibit “A”, Petition for Damages ¶ 4.

14. Defendant, Ace American Insurance Company, is a Pennsylvania corporation with its principal place of business in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Ace American Insurance Company is a citizen of Philadelphia.

15. Defendant, Cargotec Holding, Inc., is a Nevada Corporation with its principal place of business in Ottawa, Kansas. Cargotec Holding, Inc. is a citizen of Nevada and Kansas.

16. Defendant, Terry L. Stevens, is an individual of full age and majority domiciled in Pearl River County, State of Mississippi. Terry L. Stevens is a citizen of Mississippi.

IV. THE AMOUNT IN CONTROVERSY EXCEEDS $75,000.00

17. Plaintiff seeks to recover damages for injuries allegedly sustained in an automobile accident that occurred in Jefferson Parish on or about May 3, 2012.5

18. The Petition for Damages and the First Amended Petition for Damages does not allege the amount in controversy. Therefore, Defendants have the burden of proof to show the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000.00 by a preponderance of the evidence. Treadway v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., CIV.A. 11-2965, 2012 WL 219369 p. 2 (E.D. La. Jan. 25, 2012).

19. In the Petition for Damages, Plaintiff alleges “she is entitled to compensation for her injuries to include the following non-exclusive particulars: (1) pain and suffering, past, present and future; (2) mental anguish, past, present and future; (3) lost wages, past, present and future; (4) reimbursement for all medical expenses; (5) damages to her vehicle; (6) loss of use of her vehicle; (7) loss of enjoyment of life; (8) loss of consortium; and (9) reimbursement for towing, storage of the vehicle.”6

20. On March 18, 2013, Plainitff’s counsel provided written correspondence evidencing Plainitff’s past medical expenses total approximately, $13,279.46.

21. On July 22, 2013, through informal discovery, Plaintiff provided medical records which reveal she underwent arthroscopic shoulder surgery on June 13, 2013. The informal discovery also reveals Plaintiff underwent injections and chiropractic treatment.

22. Plaintiff continues to treat.

23. While Defendants accept no responsibility for the foregoing treatment or injuries, Defendant presents the following quantum for purposes of valuation for removal only:
$50,000 – Seventy-six year-old female was injured in a car accident and surgery to her shoulder was recommended. At the time of the trial, plaintiff had not had the surgery but was going to schedule one because the pain in her shoulder was constant and limited her activities and lifestyle. Angelle v. Delery, 02-0644 (La. App. 5 Cir. 11/26/02); 833 So.2d 469;
$66,265 – Plaintiff suffered a slight shoulder fracture that required arthroscopic surgery. Plaintiff had residual complaints of pain thereafter. Clement v. Griffin, 634 So.2d 412 (La. App. 4th Cir. 1994);
$79,000 – Twenty-one year old plaintiff was injured in car accident and sustained serious injuries to her shoulder that required two arthroscopic shoulder surgeries. Plaintiff testified that injuries substantially hindered her ability to participate in athletic sports, a hobby in which she was very active prior to the accident. Poche v. Allstate Ins. Co., 04-1058 (La. App. 5 Cir. 3/1/05); 900 So.2d 55
$125,000 – Plaintiff suffered a severe rotator cuff injury that required surgery. The surgery was successful and resulted in a good result. Selico v. Intercontinental Bulktank Corp., 98-0763 (La. App. 4 Cir. 5/12/99); 733 So.2d 1240;
$130,000 – Plaintiff’s shoulder injury resulted from falling over cardboard boxes and requires surgery. Plaintiff testified injury was very painful and disabling for some time. Corliss v. Baha Towners Ltd. Partnership, 00-2011 (La. App. 4 Cir. 8/29/01); 799 So.2d 525;
$150,000 – Forty-two year-old woman was injured when a one-hundred-plus pound television box fell on her neck and shoulder. Plaintiff underwent arthroscopic surgery and claimed that she was living with pain daily and the injury deprived her of her chosen career, nursing home assistant. She also testified that her injury limited her ability to care for herself, her family, and her household, leading to a dependency on other and depression. Quinn v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 34,208 (La. App. 2 Cir. 12/6/00); 774 So.2d 1093; and
$150,000 – Plaintiff was injured in car accident and was under a doctor’s care for over three years. During that time, she underwent physical therapy and shoulder surgery. The testimony indicated that shoulder injury resulted in  plaintiff being permanently disabled. Maddox v. City of Oakdale, 99-726 (La. App. 3 Cir. 11/3/99); 746 So.2d 764.

24. “[A] plaintiff wishing to prevent removal must affirmatively renounce the right to accept a judgment in excess of $75,000.00 in its state court pleadings or a stipulation filed with the complaint.” Treadway, 2012 WL 219369 p. 2. No such renouncement or stipulation has been filed in state court.

25. On August 20, 2013, undersigned contacted Plaintiff’s counsel via telephone to determine whether he would stipulate that his client’s claims do not exceed $75,000.00. Plainitff’s counsel refused to stipulate.

26. While Defendants do not admit any element of damages, they have met the burden of showing by a preponderance of the evidence the amount in controversy is expected to exceed the sum or value of $75,000.00, exclusive of interests and costs. Plaintiff’s alleged damages, coupled with the arthroscopic shoulder surgery and past medical expenses clearly evidence the amount in controversy exceeds the jurisdictional threshold."

The provided text is an excerpt from a document filed in this case. For a full understanding of the case, one should read the complete court file, including the response.

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