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KARAS v. SONESTA INTERNATIONAL HOTELS CORP. et al Notice of Removal

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.

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Case 1:12-cv-11123-LTS Document 1 Filed 06/25/12 Page 1 of 6
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS MARSHA KARAS, Plaintiff, v. SONESTA INTERNATIONAL HOTELS CORP. d/b/a SONESTA GREAT BAYS RESORT & CASINO and ACE AMERICAN INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendants. ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) )
NOTICE OF REMOVAL Defendant ACE American Insurance Company (“ACE”), hereby notices the removal of the following described action from the Superior Court Department of Middlesex County, Commonwealth of Massachusetts (“State Court”), to the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts (“District Court”), as authorized by 28 U.S.C. § 1441, et seq. The Defendant respectfully submits the following grounds for removal: I. 1. Nature Of The Action Plaintiff, Marsha Karas, filed a civil action against ACE and Defendant
Sonesta International Hotels Corp. d/b/a Sonesta Great Bays Resort & Casino (“Sonesta”) in the Superior Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in and for Middlesex County, Civil Action No. MICV2012-01554 entitled Marsha Karas v. Sonesta International Hotels Corp. d/b/a Sonesta Great Bays Resort & Casino and ACE American Insurance Company, (the “State Court Action”). A copy of Plaintiff’s Summons and Complaint (“Complaint”) are attached hereto as Exhibit A.
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Case 1:12-cv-11123-LTS Document 1 Filed 06/25/12 Page 2 of 6
2.
ACE was served with a copy of the Summons and Complaint VIA United
States Mail on or after May 24, 2012. A copy of Plaintiff's cover letter dated May 24, 2012 is attached hereto as Exhibit B. 3. Sonesta was served with a copy of the Summons and Complaint via
delivery by sheriff on or after May 31, 2012. A copy of the Return of Service is attached hereto as Exhibit C. II. 4. Subject Matter Jurisdiction Exists Based upon the allegations in the Complaint, this is a civil action over
which this Court has jurisdiction under the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 1332, and is one which may be removed pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 1441(b) in that it is a civil action between citizens of different states and the matter in controversy exceeds the sum of $75,000.00, exclusive of interest and costs, as set forth more fully below. A. 5. Complete Diversity Of Citizenship Exists Between The Parties
Plaintiff Marsha Karas is a citizen and resident of Blasdell, New York.
See Complaint, ¶ 1. 6. ACE is a foreign corporation organized and existing under the laws of the
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, with a principal place of business in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 7. Sonesta is a corporation organized and existing under the laws of the
Commonwealth of Massachusetts, with a principal place of business in Newton, Massachusetts. See Complaint, ¶ 2. 8. Complete diversity exists between the parties. B. The Amount In Controversy Exceeds $75,000.00
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Case 1:12-cv-11123-LTS Document 1 Filed 06/25/12 Page 3 of 6
9.
In the Complaint, Plaintiff seeks monetary damages in an amount to be
proven at trial, as well as “multiple damages under G.L. c. 93A.” See Complaint, ¶¶ 8183. Multiple damages are a form of punitive damages and “[w]here both actual and punitive damages are recoverable under a complaint each must be considered to the extent claimed in determining the jurisdictional amount.” F.C.I. Realty Trust v. Aetna Casualty and Surety Company, 906 F.Supp. 30, 32 n.1 (D.Mass. 1995), citing Bell v. Preferred Life Society, 320 U.S. 238, 240 (1943). Further, Plaintiff seeks to recover attorneys’ fees for establishing the insurer’s duty to defend. See Complaint, ¶ 101. Attorneys’ fees are properly considered in determining the amount in controversy when there is a statute providing for the award of fees. Spielman v. Genzyme Corp., 251 F.3d 1, 7 (1st cir. 2001). Here, if Plaintiff proves the allegations contained in the complaint, Plaintiff may collect attorneys’ fees as part of damages. Id.; M.G.L. c. 93A. 10. Therefore, as set forth in the Complaint, Plaintiff could recover damages
in excess of the jurisdictional limit of $75,000.00. III. 11. 12. Timeliness and Technical Requirements of Removal ACE was served with process in this action on or after May 29, 2012. Sonesta was served with process in this action on or after May 31, 2012.
Sonesta consents to the removal of this action from State Court to the United States District Court of Massachusetts for trial and determination as provided by law. 13. This removal is timely under 28 U.S.C. § 1446(b) in that removal is
sought within thirty (30) days after service of the summons and complaint.
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Case 1:12-cv-11123-LTS Document 1 Filed 06/25/12 Page 4 of 6
14.
Written notice of the filing of this Notice of Removal will be filed with the
Clerk of the Middlesex County Superior Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, in accordance of with the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 1446(d). 15. The United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts is a
proper venue in that the action being removed was filed in the Middlesex County Superior Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 16. on Plaintiff. IV. 17. Removal Is Proper Because the citizenship of the parties is diverse and the amount in A Notice of Filing of this Notice of Removal is concurrently being served
controversy exceeds $75,000.00, exclusive of interest and costs, the Court has jurisdiction over this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332. Accordingly, this action may be removed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1441. Venue is proper in this Court under 28 U.S.C. § 1391, as this action was pending in a state court within this district and division. WHEREFORE, Defendant ACE American Insurance Company prays that this Notice of Removal be accepted as good and sufficient, that the aforesaid Complaint be removed from the State Court to the United States District Court of Massachusetts for trial and determination as provided by law, and the United States District Court of Massachusetts enters such orders and issue such process as may be proper to bring before it all records and proceedings in the said State Court action, and thereupon proceed with this civil action as if it had been originally commenced in he United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts. SO NOTICED this 25th day of June 2012.
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ACE AMERICAN INSURANCE COMPANY, By its attorneys, ____/s/ William T. Bogaert_______ William T. Bogaert, BBO#546321 william.bogaert@wilsonelser.com WILSON, ELSER, MOSKOWITZ, EDELMAN & DICKER LLP 260 Franklin Street, 14th Floor Boston, Massachusetts 02110 Telephone: (617) 422-5300 Facsimile: (617) 423-6917
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Case 1:12-cv-11123-LTS Document 1 Filed 06/25/12 Page 6 of 6
CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE I, William T. Bogaert, hereby certify that this document filed through the ECF system will be sent electronically to the registered participants as identified on the NEF on June 25, 2012. /s/ William T. Bogaert
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