IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
June 26, 2009
ESTATE OF ERIC L. GUZIK, DECEASED, BY CAROL L. GUZIK, AS EXECUTRIX OF ERIC L. GUZIK ESTATE, CAROL L. GUZIK, INDIVIDUALLY, ANTHONY GUZIK, INDIVIDUALLY, AND TERESSA M. WATSON, INDIVIDUALLY, PLAINTIFFS,
RASHIDA MAHMUD, M.D., ET AL, DEFENDANTS.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Arthur J. Schwab United States District Judge
ORDER REMANDING TO STATE COURT
This medical malpractice / negligence case was removed from the Court of Common Pleas of Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, an agency of the United States of`America, a named party defendant, on the basis of "federal officers and agencies" removal jurisdiction. See 28 U.S.C. §1442(a)(1). All of the claims set forth in plaintiffs' complaint are state common law or state statutory claims.
On June 24, 2009, the federal defendants (James B. Peake, Secretary of Department of Veterans Affairs, James Nicholson, Secretary of Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Hospital, the United States of America Department of Veterans Affairs and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs) and the plaintiffs filed a Stipulation of Dismissal Without Prejudice as to the Federal Defendants Only (Doc. No. 9), which this Court approved the same day (Doc. No. 10). Thus, the "federal officers and agencies" foundation for this Court's exercise of removal jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1442(a)(1) has been eliminated.
Once federal parties or claims based upon actions taken pursuant to federal direction are dismissed from case which has been removed under rule permitting removal of suits brought against officers or agencies of United States, a federal district court has the power either to adjudicate remaining state claims or to remand to state court. See Watkins v. Grover, 508 F.2d 920, 921 (9th Cir. 1974); Gulati v. Zuckerman, 723 F.Supp. 353 (E.D.Pa. 1989); Peroff v. Manuel, 421 F.Supp. 570 (D.D.C. 1976).*fn1 Because there have been no substantive proceedings or significant involvement by this Court and because this case involves purely state law claims against the remaining defendants, this Court declines to retain jurisdiction over these defendants and claims, and will therefore remand the matter to the Court of Common Pleas of Westmoreland County.
Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that this case is dismissed and remanded to the Court of Common Pleas of Westmoreland County.
The Clerk of Court shall mark this case closed and shall remand the record to the Court of Common Pleas, forthwith.