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Freidrich v. Davis

United States District Court, Third Circuit

December 16, 2013

CAROLYN FREIDRICH, Plaintiff.
v.
THOMAS DAVIS Defendant.

MEMORANDUM

Anita B. Brody, J.

Plaintiff Carolyn Freidrich (“Freidrich”) alleges that Defendant Thomas Davis (“Davis”) fell on and broke her arm during a December 29, 2010 flight from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Munich, Germany. Freidrich brings suit against Davis in federal court on the basis of diversity jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1332. Davis moves to dismiss the suit for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, arguing that Freidrich fails to establish diversity of citizenship between the parties.[1]Based on the evidence presented at the November 20, 2013 hearing, I will grant Davis’s motion for the reasons discussed below.

I. LEGAL STANDARD

The party invoking diversity jurisdiction bears the burden of proof. McNutt v. Gen. Motors Acceptance Corp. of Indiana, 298 U.S. 178, 189 (1936); Samuel-Bassett v. KIA Motors Am., Inc., 357 F.3d 392, 396 (3d Cir. 2004). A party meets this burden by proving diversity of citizenship between the parties by a preponderance of the evidence. McCann v. Newman Irrevocable Trust, 458 F.3d 281, 290 (3d Cir. 2006).

II. FINDINGS OF FACT

In my July 11, 2013 order, I granted Davis’s motion to dismiss to the extent that if either party is domiciled in Germany, I lack subject matter jurisdiction. I directed the parties to take jurisdictional discovery into the domicile of Freidrich and Davis. After reviewing the evidence submitted at the November 20, 2013 hearing, I now make the following findings of fact:

1. Both Freidrich and Davis are American citizens.
2. Davis was born in June 1951 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.[2]
3. From 1985 to 1996, Davis lived in a home he owned at 108 Blacksmith Road, Camp Hill, Pennsylvania.
4. In 1996, Davis moved from Pennsylvania to Germany. Since 1996, he has continuously resided in Germany with the exception of a six-month period in 1999 when he temporarily returned to Pennsylvania for work.
5. In September 1999, Davis sold his home at 108 Blacksmith Road. He currently owns no property in Pennsylvania.
6. In July 2005, after deciding to remain in Germany, Davis and his wife purchased a home at Hintere Gerbergass 7, Nordlingen, Germany. They continue to reside there.
7. Since 1999, Davis has owned his own consulting company, Davis Consulting, a German corporation with ...

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