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

GRACE v. MYERS 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: 
3:15-cv-00300 Search Pacer
ACE Group party(s): 
Opposing Party: 
Devante Grace
Court Type: 
Federal
US District Court: 
Middle District of Louisiana
Date Filed: 
May 14 2015

NOW INTO COURT, through undersigned counsel, come Defendants, USA
TRUCK, INC. and ACE AMERICAN INSURANCE COMPANY, and allege and aver,
as follows:

1.

The above entitled case has been filed in the 19th Judicial District Court for the
Parish of East Baton Rouge, State of Louisiana, Civil Docket Number 636-817, Sec. 26,
and is now pending therein. The original Petition for Damages was filed on January 30,
2015. A First Supplemental and Amending Petition for Damages was filed on February
20, 2015 and added Defendant, ACE AMERICAN INSURANCE COMPANY. A

2

Case 3:15-cv-00300-JWD-RLB Document 1       05/14/15       Page       2       of       8

Second Supplemental and Amending Petition for Damages was filed on April 17, 2015.

Citation and a copy of the original Petition for Damages and First Supplemental
and Amending Petition for Damages were served on USA TRUCK, INC. on or about
February 23, 2015.

Citation and a copy of the original Petition for Damages and First Supplemental
and Amending Petition for Damages were served on ACE AMERICAN INSURANCE
COMPANY on or about March 5, 2015.

Citation and a copy of the original Petition for Damages and First Supplemental
and Amending Petition for Damages were served on Federal Insurance Company on or
about February 13, 2015 and March 5, 2015, respectively.

Citation and a copy of the Second Supplemental and Amending Petition for
Damages were served on USA TRUCK, INC. and ACE AMERICAN INSURANCE
COMPANY on or about April 29, 2015.

As of the date of this filing, Donald Myers has not been served with the original
Petition for Damages, the First Supplemental and Amending Petition for Damages, or the
Second Supplemental and Amending Petition for Damages.

2.

On April 21, 2015, Judge Donald R. Johnson of the 19th Judicial District Court for
the Parish of East Baton Rouge signed an Order dismissing Federal Insurance Company
from the lawsuit. Exhibit “A”.

3.

The aforementioned suit is a civil action filed by Plaintiff, DEVANTE GRACE.

2

Case 3:15-cv-00300-JWD-RLB Document 1       05/14/15       Page       3       of       8

4.

Plaintiff, DEVANTE GRACE, seeks an award of damages against Defendants for
injuries and damages allegedly arising out of an automobile accident that occurred on or
about February 15, 2014 on Interstate 10 near U.S. Highway 61 in the Parish of St.
James, State of Louisiana.

5.

Plaintiff, DEVANTE GRACE, is a person of the age of majority domiciled in the
Parish of East Feliciana and is a citizen of the State of Louisiana.

6.

Defendant, USA TRUCK, INC., is a foreign company with its place of
incorporation in the State of Delaware and principal place of business in the State of
Arkansas.

7.

Defendant, ACE AMERICAN INSURANCE COMPANY, is a foreign insurance
company with its place of incorporation and its principal place of business in the
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

8.

As noted herein. Defendant, Donald Myers, was not served with the original

Petition for Damages, the First Supplemental and Amending Petition for Damages, or the
Second Supplemental and Amending Petition for Damages. However, he is a person of
the age of majority domiciled in the County of Queens and is a citizen of the State of

New York.


9.

Defendants allege that this Honorable Court has original jurisdiction over the
entitled and numbered cause pursuant to Article III of the United States Constitution and
28 U.S.C. §1332, and that Plaintiff is diverse from all Defendants named in the Petition
for Damages and, upon information and belief, that the alleged damages of Plaintiff,
DEVANTE GRACE, exceed $75,000.00, exclusive of interest and costs.

10.

Plaintiff’s Petition for Damages alleges that Defendant, DONALD MYERS,
operating a vehicle owned by Defendant, USA TRUCK, INC., and at the time employed
by USA TRUCK, INC., caused an accident in which Plaintiff suffered “back trauma and
pain, neck trauma and pain, head trauma and pain, general soreness to the body as a
whole, and other injuries which will be more fully established at trial.”

11.

In addition. Plaintiff claims that the accident caused him to suffer past, present and
future physical pain and suffering, mental pain, anguish and distress, loss of enjoyment of
life, lost wages, disability, impairment of earning capacity, medical expenses and “other
elements of damages to be more fully set forth at the trial of this matter.”

12.

Louisiana Code of Civil Procedure Article 893 specifically prohibits the pleading
of the amount of monetary damages sought. Plaintiffs original Petition for Damages,
First Supplemental and Amending Petition for Damages, and Second Supplemental and
Amending Petition for Damages do not set forth the specific amount of damages sought.


Case 3:15-cv-00300-JWD-RLB Document 1      05/14/15      Page      5      of      8

13.

On or about April 16, 2015, Plaintiff, DEVANTE GRACE, served upon
Defendants his Responses to Requests for Admission. In the Requests for Admission
propounded by Defendants, Plaintiff was asked to admit that “the total amount in
controversy of your claim in the above-entitled matter exceeds $75,000, exclusive of
interest and legal costs.” Plaintiff admitted that his claim did exceed $75,000, exclusive
of interest and legal costs. The Responses to Requests for Admission are attached as
Exhibit “B”

14.

Further, on April 17, 2015, Plaintiff filed a Motion for Leave of Court to File
Second Supplemental and Amending Petition for Damages. The amending petition adds
a paragraph that states: “Plaintiff avers that his claim for damages exceeds $75,000.” The
Motion for Leave of Court to File Second Supplemental and Amending Petition for
Damages was granted on April 21, 2015 by Judge Donald R. Johnson. Exhibit “C”.

15.

Based on Plaintiff, DEVANTE GRACE’S, Responses to Requests for Admission
and the allegation of the Second Supplemental and Amending Petition for Damages,
Plaintiff has submitted in writing that the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000,
exclusive of interest and costs, the minimum amount necessary to support diversity
jurisdiction.

Case 3: l5-cv-00300-JWD-RLB Document 1       05/14/15       Page       6       of       8

16.

Accordingly, Defendants, USA TRUCK, INC. and ACE AMERICAN
INSURANCE COMPANY, are entitled to remove this case to this Honorable Court for
disposition pursuant to the removal provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 1441 et seq., as amended.

17.

The time in which Defendants herein may file a Notice of Removal in order to
properly remove this case has not yet expired. This Notice of Removal is filed within
thirty days of service of the Responses to Requests for Admission, which was the first
instance in which Defendants were provided written assertion by Plaintiff, DEVANTE
GRACE, that the amount in controversy for his claim exceeds the jurisdictional
minimum.

18.

Defendants file herewith a copy of all process, pleadings and orders served upon
them in this action, in globo, as Exhibit “D”.

19.

In accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 1446(d), Defendants will provide appropriate
Notice of this Removal to Plaintiff, DEVANTE GRACE, and to the Clerk of Court for
the 19th Judicial District Court for the Parish of East Baton Rouge, State of Louisiana, by
filing of this Notice and the Notice of Removal into the record of the state court action.

JURY DEMAND

20.

Defendants are entitled to and request a trial by jury on all issues herein.

Case 3:15-cv-00300-JWD-RLB Document 1       05/14/15       Page       7       of       8

WHEREFORE, Defendants, USA TRUCK, INC. and ACE AMERICAN
INSURANCE COMPANY, pray that the suit entitled, “Devante Grace v. Donald Myers,
USA Truck, Inc., and Federal Insurance Company,” now pending in the 19th Judicial
District Court, Parish of Orleans, State of Louisiana, and bearing Docket Number 636-
817, Sec. 26, be removed to this, the United States District Court for the Middle District
of Louisiana, and for trial by jury and all just and equitable relief as allowed by law.

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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