United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Fort Myers Division
OPINION AND ORDER 
POLSTER CHAPPELL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is Plaintiff Elba Nieves' Motion to Remand
(Doc. 8) and Defendant Walmart Stores, Inc.'s response in
opposition and supplemental removal documents (Doc. 16; Doc.
22). For the below reasons, the Court denies Nieves'
sues Walmart for injuries she suffered after slipping and
falling in a store. (Doc. 3). This case started in state
court on March 26, 2019. Walmart removed the suit almost four
months later based on diversity jurisdiction. (Doc. 1).
Nieves now moves to remand because Walmart did not remove the
case within thirty days of receiving the Complaint and
Summons. (Id.). Walmart counters that removal was
not available until it received Plaintiff's discovery
responses on June 10, saying her claim exceeds $75, 000.
courts have diversity jurisdiction over a matter if the
amount in controversy exceeds $75, 000, exclusive of
interests and costs, and there is complete diversity of
citizenship among the parties. See28 U.S.C. §
1332(a); Morrison v. Allstate Indem. Co., 228 F.3d
1255, 1261 (11th Cir. 2000). Under 28 U.S.C. § 1446, a
defendant may remove a case to federal court. The removing
defendant bears the burden of establishing federal
jurisdiction. See Williams v. Best Buy Co.,
269 F.3d 1316, 1319 (11th Cir. 2001).
has procedures. Pertinent here, a defendant may remove a case
“within 30 days after receipt by the defendant through
service or otherwise, of a copy of an amended pleading,
motion, order or other paper from which it may first
be ascertained that the case is one which is or has become
removable.” 28 U.S.C. § 1446(b)(3) (emphasis
added). When assessing removal based on a later received
paper, “the court considers the document . . . and
determines whether that document and the notice of removal
unambiguously establish federal jurisdiction.”
Lowery v. Ala. Power Co., 483 F.3d 1184, 1214 (11th
Cir. 2007). Walmart relies on Nieves' interrogatory
response to trigger the thirty-day window for removal. (Docs.
1 at ¶ 22; 16).
reviewing the record, the parties' arguments, and
applicable law, the Court finds removal to be timely and the
amount in controversy prong satisfied for diversity
jurisdiction. Where “the plaintiff has not pled a
specific amount of damages, the removing defendant must prove
by a preponderance of the evidence that the amount in
controversy exceeds the jurisdictional requirement.”
Williams, 269 F.3d at 1319. In determining the
amount in controversy, the court “focuses on how much
is in controversy at the time of removal, not later.”
Pretka v. Kolter City Plaza II, Inc., 608 F.3d 744,
751 (11th Cir. 2010). A court may not speculate or guess as
to the amount in controversy. Id. at 752; see
also Roe v. Michelin N. Am., Inc., 613 F.3d
1058, 1060 (11th Cir. 2010)
interrogatory response shows her relevant medical bills total
$213, 813.25. (Doc. 22-1 at ¶ 12). These medical
expenses show, by a preponderance of the evidence, the amount
in controversy exceeds $75, 000. See Dewitte v.
Foremost Ins., 171 F.Supp.3d 1288, 1290 (M.D. Fla. 2016)
(“[M]edical bills related to treatments a plaintiff has
undergone after an injury are sufficient to establish the
amount in controversy” (citations omitted)). This
information opened the removal door for Walmart. They got
Nieves' response on June 10 and removed by July 10-this
is timely. The Court thus has subject matter jurisdiction
over this action.
it is now
Elba Nieves' Motion to Remand Case to State Court for
Defendant's Failure to File a Timely Request for Removal
(Doc. 8) is DENIED.
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