United States District Court, S.D. Florida
G. Torres, U.S. Magistrate Judge
ORDER DENYEVG PLAEYITFF'S MOTION TO
G. COOKE United States District Judge
case arises from injuries Plaintiff Tavia Musser sustained
from an allegedly dangerous condition on Defendant Walmart
Stores East, L.P.'s ("Walmart") premises.
Walmart removed this case from state court, asserting federal
diversity jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1332. Musser
challenges Walmart's removal, arguing that the amount in
controversy is less than the $75, 000 statutory requirement.
is Musser's Motion to Remand to State Court
("Motion"). (ECF No. 8). Walmart has filed its
Response in Opposition to Musser's Motion (ECF No. 9),
and Musser submitted her Reply (ECF No. 10). The Motion is
therefore fully briefed and ripe for adjudication.
reviewed the parties' arguments, the record, and the
relevant legal authorities. For the reasons that follow, I
deny Musser's Motion.
is a citizen of the State of Florida. (ECF No. 1-6 ¶ 2).
Walmart, a limited partnership registered in the state of
Delaware, is a wholly-owned subsidiary if Walmart Stores,
Inc., a Delaware corporation that maintains its principal
place of business in Arkansas. (ECF No. 1 ¶¶ 8, 10).
about September 11, 2014, Musser slipped on a transitory
substance on Walmart's premises (the "Store").
(ECF No. 8 ¶ 1). Musser alleges that Walmart breached
the duty of care it owed to her as an invitee of the Store,
and that the breach resulted in pain and suffering,
disability, disfigurement, mental anguish, loss of capacity
for the enjoyment of life, expense of hospitalization,
medical and nursing care and treatment, loss of earnings,
loss of ability to earn money, and aggravation of a
previously existing condition. (ECF No. 1-6).
3, 2016, Musser sent a demand letter (“Demand
Letter”) to Walmart stating her medical expenses to
date as a result of the incident. (ECF No. 8-1 at 2-3). The
Demand Letter further indicated that Musser had consented to
surgery on her back, which she estimated would cost $100,
000. (Id.). She proposed a settlement of $325, 000.
22, 2016, Musser filed her Complaint for Damages and Demand
for Jury Trial (“Complaint”) in Florida state
court. (ECF No. 1-3 at 34). On August 3, 2016, Musser filed
her Amended Complaint alleging one count of negligence
against Walmart. (ECF No. 1-6).
August 18, 2016, Musser's counsel sent Walmart's
counsel updated incident-related medical bills totaling more
than $30, 000, and again sent the Demand Letter. (ECF Nos.
8-1, 8-2). Walmart then removed the action to federal court
on September 19, 2016. (ECF No. 1). On September 28, 2016,
after Walmart filed its Notice of Removal, Musser offered to
settle the claim for $74, 999.99. (ECF No. 8-5). Shortly
thereafter, on October 14, 2016, she filed her Motion to
Remand. (ECF No. 8).
courts are courts of limited jurisdiction. Federal
jurisdiction exists only when a controversy involves either a
question of federal law or diversity of citizenship between
the parties. See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331-32.
Removal statutes are strictly construed. Syngenta Crop
Prot. Inc. v. Henson, 537 U.S. 28, 32 (2002). Courts
should remand all cases where subject matter jurisdiction is
in doubt. Univ. of S. Ala. v. Am. Tobacco Co., 168
F.3d 405, 411 (11th Cir.1999).
parties here do not contend that their controversy involves a
question of federal law. Accordingly, this Court has
jurisdiction over the instant case only if diversity
jurisdiction exists. Diversity jurisdiction exists when the
suit is between citizens of different states and the amount
in controversy exceeds $75, 000, exclusive of interest and
costs. See 28 U.S.C. § 1332. There is no
dispute in this case that the parties are of ...