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Chaunheng Management and David Molony v. the Hartford's Twin City Fire Insurance Company

May 9, 2012

CHAUNHENG MANAGEMENT AND DAVID MOLONY,
PLAINTIFFS
v.
THE HARTFORD'S TWIN CITY FIRE INSURANCE COMPANY, DOING BUSINESS AS TWIN CITY FIRE INSURANCE COMPANY, AND
THE HARTFORD INSURANCE COMPANY, DEFENDANTS



The opinion of the court was delivered by: James Knoll Gardner United States District Judge

OPINION

This matter is before the court on Plaintiffs' Motion to Remand Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c) filed November 4, 2011 and Defendants' Motion for Rule 11 Sanctions filed December 12, 2011.

On November 18, 2011 Defendants' Opposition to Plaintiffs' Motion to Remand was filed. On December 27, 2011 Plaintiffs' Answer and Brief in Opposition to Defendants' Motion for Rule 11 Sanctions were filed.

For the reasons articulated below, I deny plaintiffs' motion to remand and deny defendants' motion for sanctions.

JURISDICTION

Jurisdiction in this case is based on diversity jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332. The parties contest whether this court has jurisdiction. However, defendants' Notice of Removal alleges that plaintiffs are citizens of Pennsylvania and that defendants are citizens of Connecticut and Indiana. The amount in controversy exceeds $75,000.00.

VENUE

Venue is proper pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1391(a)(2) because a substantial part of the events giving rise to plaintiffs' claims allegedly occurred within this judicial district.

DISCUSSION

Motion to Remand On September 16, 2011 plaintiffs Chaunheng Management and David Moloney filed a Complaint in Civil Action number 2011-C-3304 in the Court of Common Pleas of Lehigh County, Pennsylvania against defendants The Hartford's Twin City Fire Insurance Company doing business as Twin City Fire Company and The Hartford Insurance Company. The Complaint alleged state-law causes of action for bad faith (Count I), negligence (Count II), strict liability (Count III), and fraud (Count IV).*fn1

On October 7, 2011 Defendants' Notice of Removal was filed. Defendants alleged federal jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332, which provides that district courts have original jurisdiction over civil actions between citizens of different states when the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000.00, exclusive of interest and costs.

Defendants aver that there is no entity called The Hartford Insurance Company ("Hartford"). However defendants assert that to the extent plaintiffs' Complaint is referring to Hartford Fire Insurance Company, it is a Connecticut corporation with its principal place of business in Hartford, Connecticut.*fn2

Therefore defendants contend that defendant Hartford is a citizen of Connecticut.

Defendants aver that defendant Hartford's Twin City Fire Insurance Company ("Twin City") was also improperly named and that the proper party to this action is Twin City Fire Insurance Company. Defendants aver that Twin City Fire Insurance Company is an Indiana Corporation with its principal place of business in Hartford, Connecticut.*fn3 Therefore defendants contend that defendant Twin City is a citizen of Indiana and Connecticut.

Defendants assert that plaintiffs are citizens of Pennsylvania and that the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000.00.*fn4 Accordingly, defendants contend that removal was proper pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332.

Plaintiffs contend that remand is warranted because this court lacks subject matter jurisdiction. According to plaintiffs, contrary to the assertions in Defendants' Notice of ...


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