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

HENDRICKSON v. ACE AMERICAN INSURANCE 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: 
5:13-cv-00562 Search Pacer
ACE Group party(s): 
Opposing Party: 
Cynthia R Hendrickson
Court Type: 
Federal
US District Court: 
Western District of Louisiana
Date Filed: 
Mar 15 2013

"1. The removed case is a civil suit filed on or about February 25, 2013 in the 42nd Judicial District Court for the Parish of De Soto entitled "Cynthia Hendrickson, individually and on behalf of her minor children, Brannon Lormand and Brittainy Hendrickson v. Ace American Insurance Company, CETCO Oilfield Services Company, LLC, and Jonathan Rodgers," and assigned Case Number 00074501, Division A.

PAPERS FROM REMOVED ACTION

2. As required by 28 U.S.C. § 1446(a), attached as Exhibit 1 are copies of all processes, pleadings, and orders in the case, served on defendants. CONSENT TO REMOVAL

3. Ace American Insurance Company and CETCO Oilfield Services Company, LLC are represented by undersigned counsel and consent to this removal. Jonathan Rodgers, allegedly a Texas domiciliary, has not been served, nor has he made an appearance in the state-court proceeding. Therefore, his consent is not necessary to effect this removal. Further, as Mr. Rodgers has not been served and has not made an appearance, this Court may ignore the domicile of Mr. Rodgers for purposes of this removal. See 28 U.S.C. § 1441(b).

THIS REMOVAL IS TIMELY

4. The first date upon which any defendant received a copy of the Petition for Damages in the removed case was on or about March 5, 2013. Ace American Insurance Company was served personally with the Petition for Damages and summons via hand delivery of same to its agent for service of process by an East Baton Rouge Sheriffs Deputy. This Notice of Removal is filed within 30 days of that service and, therefore, is timely pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1446(b).

THE AMOUNT IN CONTROVERSY REQUIREMENT IS MET

5. Plaintiffs Petition alleges serious personal injuries to Cynthia Hendrickson and loss of services and society to her minor children, Brannon Lormand and Brittainy Hendrickson, caused by defendants. Plaintiff claims her injuries are serious and will require future medical treatment. Plaintiff alleges that because of her personal injuries, she has suffered and will continue to suffer the following damages:

A. Physical pain and suffering (past, present, and future);
B. Mental pain and anguish (past, present, and future);
C. Medical expenses (past, present, and future);
D. Loss of enjoyment of life (past, present, and future);
E. Loss of earning capacity;
F. Lost wages (past and future);
G. Surgical scarring; and
H. Physical disability and limitation of activities, hobbies, and endeavors.

These damages are claimed by the plaintiff herein. It is therefore apparent that the amount in controversy in this action exceeds $75,000.00, exclusive of interest and costs, although defendants specifically deny liability for any amount.1

6. Plaintiff did not state any specific dollar amount to which she believes she would be entitled if she were victorious in this suit.

7. Plaintiffs are specifically forbidden by Louisiana law from praying for a specific monetary amount in a Petition for Damages. See La. Code Civ. Pro. Art. 893(A)(1). Further, in Louisiana, plaintiffs are to be awarded all damages to which they are entitled under the facts and  The allegations of the amount in controversy should not be construed as an admission of liability or an estimate of actual damages allegedly sustained by plaintiff. Such allegations are recited herein merely to point out that the jurisdictional amount for diversity cases is met in this particular matter the law of the specific case, regardless of whether such damages are specifically prayed for in the Petition and regardless of whether the plaintiff prayed for general and / or equitable relief. See La. Code Civ. Pro. Art. 862.

8. A review of Louisiana jurisprudence provides that awards for pain and suffering and other compensatory damages in suits similar to the instant matter easily exceed the federal jurisdictional amount in controversy requirement, should plaintiff actually succeed in this suit.

9. In the instant matter, Cynthia Hendrickson alleges she sustained serious personal injuries including "injuries to the neck, back, left shoulder, [and] head." See Petition at f 15. Specifically, plaintiff alleges she sustained injuries including "intermediated paresthesia of the [fifth] digit of the left hand;" disc herniations at C5-6 and C6-7; and an L4-5 disc bulge. Id. Upon information and belief, plaintiff has undergone a surgical procedure to the left ulnar nerve, allegedly related to the accident sued upon. Upon information and belief, plaintiff was treating at the time suit was filed and it is possible that medical treatment may continue into the foreseeable future. The plaintiffs last demand to defendants was well in excess of $100,000.00. Clearly, when the Court considers the allegations of injury asserted by plaintiff, it is evident defendants have established
that if plaintiff is successful in the prosecution of this matter, her award would likely total a sum greater than $75,000.00.

THE VENUE REQUIREMENT IS MET

10. Venue of this removal action is proper pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1442(a) as this Court is the United States District Court for the district and division corresponding to the place where the state-court action was pending.

THE BASIS FOR FEDERAL JURISDICTION

11. This is a civil action that falls under this Court's original jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332 (diversity of citizenship) and may be removed to this Court by the defendants pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1441(b).

DIVERSITY JURISDICTION EXISTS

12. It is believed that the plaintiffs and all proper defendants are, and at all material times were, citizens and domiciliaries of different states of the United States of America.

13. Plaintiff and her minor children are domiciled in the Parish of De Soto, State of Louisiana. See Petition for Damages.

14. Defendant, Ace American Insurance Company, is a foreign insurance corporation that is incorporated and exists by virtue of the laws of the State of Pennsylvania. Its principal place of business is located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. At all material times, it was, and remains, authorized to do and doing business in the State of Louisiana and within this Court's jurisdiction. It has appointed the Louisiana Secretary of State as its agent for service of process in the State of Louisiana.

15. Defendant, CETCO Oilfield Services Company, LLC, is a foreign limited liability company that is organized and exists by virtue of the laws of the State of Delaware. Its principal place of business is located in Hoffman Estates, Illinois. CETCO's sole member is Colloid Environmental Technologies Company, LLC, a limited liability company that is organized and exists by virtue of the laws of the State of Delaware with its principal place of business located in Hoffman Estates, Illinois. At all material times, CETCO was, and remains, authorized to do and doing business in the State of Louisiana and within this Court's jurisdiction. It has appointed C.T. Corporation System, located at 5615 Corporate Blvd., Suite 400B, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70808, at its Louisiana registered agent for service of process.

16. Defendant, Jonathan Rodgers, is allegedly a Texas domiciliary. See Petition for Damages. He has not been served, nor has he made an appearance in the state-court proceeding. As Mr. Rodgers has not been served and has not made an appearance, this Court may ignore his domicile for purposes of this removal. See 28 U.S.C. § 1441(b). However, even if considered, Mr. Rodgers is alleged to be a Texas domiciliary.

CONCLUSION

17. Defendants, Ace American Insurance Company and CETCO Oilfield Services Company, LLC, properly remove to this Court, from the 42nd Judicial District Court for the Parish of De Soto, State of Louisiana, the Louisiana state-court case entitled "Cynthia Hendrickson, individually and on behalf of her minor children, Brannon Lormand and Brittainy Hendrickson v. Ace American Insurance Company, CETCO Oilfield Services Company, LLC, and Jonathan Rodgers," and assigned Case Number 00074501, Division A."

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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