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

NICKLOS DRILLING COMPANY v. ACE AMERICAN INSURANCE COMPANY

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Case Number: 
6:14-cv-00021 Search Pacer
ACE Group party(s): 
Opposing Party: 
Nicklos Drilling Company
Court Type: 
Federal
US District Court: 
Southern District of Texas
Date Filed: 
Mar 14 2014

DEFENDANT ACE AMERICAN INSURANCE COMPANY'S
NOTICE OF REMOVAL
Defendant ACE American Insurance Company ("ACE") hereby removes this civil action
originally filed in the 267* Judicial District Court, Jackson County, Texas to the United States
District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Victoria Division, pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§§1332, 1441 and 1446. More specifically,
1. On or about February 10, 2014, Plaintiff Nicklos Drilling Company ("Nicklos" or
"Plaintiff) filed Plaintiffs Original Petition in the 267* Judicial District Court, Jackson County,
Texas, under Cause No. 14-2-14626 (the "State Court Action") against ACE. Plaintiffs Original
Petition alleges that ACE owes it a defense and indemnity in an underlying lawsuit for claims
brought by Miramar Petroleum, Inc. ("Miramar") against Nicklos ("Underlying Lawsuit").
Nicklos bases its claim on its alleged status as an additional insured under a general liability
policy issued by ACE to its first named insured, Miramar. In the State Court Action, Nicklos
alleges causes of action against ACE for declaratory judgment, breach of contract, and violation
of the Texas Insurance Code. See Plaintiff s Original Petition 1ffll3-16 at App-ACE 010-0111.
2. ACE was served with the State Court Action by service on C.T. Corporation
System on February 14, 2014. On March 7, 2014, ACE filed its Motion to Transfer Venue and
Without Waiving and Subject Thereto, Original Answer in the State Court Action ("Defendant's
Motion"). See Defendant's Motion at App-ACE 020-026. ACE reserves its rights to request a
transfer from the Victoria Division to the Houston Division based on its originally filed State
Court Motion to Transfer Venue.
3. This Notice of Removal is timely filed within thirty days from service on ACE of
Plaintiffs Original Petition. 28 U.S.C. § 1446(b).
4. The amount in controversy, exclusive of interest and costs, is $75,000.00 or more.
The Fifth Circuit has held that the amounts to be considered when ascertaining the amount in
controversy when an insurer could be liable for sums under state law are the policy limits,
potential attorneys' fees, penalties, statutory damages and punitive damages. St. Paul Reins. Co.
V. Greenberg, 134 F.1250, 1253 (5th Cir. 1998). Only interest and costs are not included for the
purposes of calculating the amount in controversy. Id. In the State Court Action, the Plaintiff
alleges that it is currently seeking its attorneys' fees from defending itself in the Underlying
Lawsuit in the then current amount of less than $50,000.00 and that the indemnity amount in
controversy in the Underlying Lawsuit exceeds $1,000,000.00. See Plaintiff s Original Petition
\\ at App-ACE 005. Plaintiff also seeks damages for violation of the Texas Prompt Payment
Statute. Id. at App-ACE 012.
5. Plaintiff Nicklos was incorporated in Texas and maintains its principal place of
business in Harris County, Texas. See Id. at \ 2, App-ACE 006. For purposes of diversity
jurisdiction, Plaintiff is a citizen of the state of Texas.
6. ACE was incorporated in Pennsylvania and maintains its principal place of
business in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania. See Id. at \ 3, App-ACE 006. For purposes of
diversity jurisdiction, ACE is a citizen of the state of Pennsylvania.
7. Plaintiff is a citizen of Texas and ACE is a citizen of Pennsylvania. Therefore,
complete diversity exists among the parties and because the amount in controversy is more than
$75,000.00, this Court has subject matter jurisdiction based on diversity of citizenship.
8. ACE, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§1446(a), 1447(b), and 1449, hereby attaches a copy
of the State Court Action's docket sheet dated March 12, 2014, and the State Court Action's
pleadings filed and/or served as of the date hereof, to its Notice of Removal. See Id. at App-
ACE 001. The documents filed in the State Court Action included in Exhibit "A" attached
hereto as App-ACE 001-026 are:
a. Register of Action / Docket dated March 12, 2014 (App-ACE 001-004);
b. Plaintiffs Original Petition dated February 10, 2014 (App-ACE 005-013);
c. Citation dated February 10, 2014 (App-ACE 014-015);
d. State Civil Cover Sheet (per clerk of the court, not in record);
e. Proof of Service on C.T. Corporation dated February 15, 2014 (App-ACE
016-019); and
f Defendant's Motion to Transfer Venue and Without Waiving and Subject
Thereto, Original Answer, dated March 7, 2014 (App-ACE 020-026).
9. Plaintiff has not made a jury demand in the State Court Action or paid a jury fee.
10. Pursuant to Local Rule 81, Defendant attaches hereto as Exhibit "B," a list of all
counsel of record, including addresses, telephone numbers and parties represented.
WHEREFORE, Defendant ACE American Insurance Company respectfully prays the
State Court Action be removed from the 267* Judicial District Court, Jackson County, Texas to
the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Victoria Division, pursuant to
28U.S.C. §§1332, 1441 and 1446.

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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