Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Krpic v. Progressive Express Insurance Co.

United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division

September 3, 2019

BRANKO KRPIC, Plaintiff,
v.
PROGRESSIVE EXPRESS INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendant.

          ORDER

          SUSAN C. BUCKLEW UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This cause comes before the Court on two motions: (1) Plaintiff's Motion to Amend (Doc. No. 11), which Defendant opposes (Doc. No. 12); and (2) Plaintiff's Motion to Remand (Doc. No. 10), which Defendant opposes (Doc. No. 12). The parties filed reply briefs. (Doc. No. 18, 19). The Court held an evidentiary hearing on these motions on August 30, 2019. As explained below, both motions are granted.

         I. Background

         Plaintiff Branko Krpic filed this case in state court on April 11, 2019 for under-insured motorist (“UM”) benefits. Specifically, on September 29, 2018, Plaintiff was a passenger in an UBER vehicle being driven by Jorge Guillermo Angulo. Plaintiff was injured when a vehicle driven by Matthew Connor James collided with the vehicle that Plaintiff was riding in. Plaintiff filed suit against Defendant Progressive Express Insurance Company, the insurer of Angulo's vehicle, for UM benefits.

         Defendant removed the case to this Court on May 21, 2019 based on diversity of citizenship. Plaintiff alleged in his complaint that he is a resident of Washington, and Defendant alleged in its Notice of Removal that it is a citizen of Ohio. On June 20, 2019, Plaintiff filed the instant motion to amend his complaint in order to assert a negligence claim against Angulo, who is a citizen of Florida. Plaintiff also filed the instant motion to remand the case to state court if the amendment is allowed, arguing that diversity of citizenship would no longer exist because he contends that he is a citizen of Florida. Defendant opposes both motions, arguing that leave to amend should not be granted, as Plaintiff knew of any potential claim that he had against Angulo prior to filing suit and that Plaintiff is seeking leave to amend solely to destroy diversity.

         After prompting by the Court, Plaintiff clarified that he moved to Florida in July of 2018-prior to filing the case in state court. Defendant points out that simply moving to Florida does not make Plaintiff a citizen of Florida; instead, the Court must determine whether his move was temporary or whether he intended to remain in Florida at the time that the case was removed.

         If Plaintiff was a citizen of Washington at the time of removal, then the addition of a Florida defendant thereafter does not destroy the Court's subject matter jurisdiction over the case, as complete diversity continues to exist. If, however, Plaintiff was a citizen of Florida at the time of removal, then the addition of a Florida defendant would destroy the Court's diversity jurisdiction over this case.

         Whether Plaintiff is attempting to add Angulo as a defendant solely to defeat diversity jurisdiction and whether the addition of Angulo will destroy diversity jurisdiction are issues that are factually disputed. As a result, the Court held an evidentiary hearing to address these issues.

         II. Evidentiary Hearing

         Plaintiff and one of his attorneys, Danko Borkovic, testified at the hearing. Based on their testimony, the Court finds that Plaintiff has been a citizen of Florida since he moved to Florida in July of 2018.

         A. Findings of Fact

         Plaintiff owns an interstate trucking company, and prior to the accident at issue, he was a truck driver. Plaintiff's trucking company is registered in Illinois, and it drove trucks throughout 48 states. As a truck driver, Plaintiff had a CDL license. His CDL license was issued from the state of Washington in 2015, because, according to Plaintiff, that state had the most flexible CDL licensing.

         The address on Plaintiff's Washington license was for a house that he sometimes stayed at when his trucking work brought him to Washington. Two of Plaintiff's friends live at the Washington address; Plaintiff does not own or rent the property at the Washington address. Since moving to Florida, he has not spent one night at the Washington address.

         Prior to the accident, Plaintiff lived with his wife in New York; they lived with his wife's mother-figure in her house since 2017. Plaintiff testified that both he and his wife intended to move to Florida to live here permanently.

         Plaintiff moved to Florida first, and on July 25, 2018, he entered into a ten-month lease for an apartment; the lease ended on May 26, 2019. (Pla. Ex. 2). He selected a ten-month lease term, because that lease term was the cheapest. At all times, he intended his move to Florida to be permanent.

         At the time of the accident on September 29, 2018, Plaintiff had a Washington driver's license. Therefore, when he treated with doctors for his injuries from the car accident, he listed his Washington address on his paperwork so it would match the address on his license. However, there is evidence that when the paperwork contained ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.