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Frederick Mutual Insurance Co. v. KP Construction

United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania

June 15, 2015

FREDERICK MUTUAL INSURANCE CO., Plaintiff,
v.
KP CONSTRUCTION D/B/A MARK KATONA ROOFING, TEPPER PROPERTIES, INC., and JOHN PERNA, Defendants.

MEMORANDUM

ROBERT F. KELLY, Sr. J.

Presently before this Court is Defendants, KP Construction and John Perna’s (collectively, “Defendants”), Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction, and Plaintiff, Frederick Mutual Insurance Co.’s (“FMIC”), Response. For the reasons set forth below, the Motion is denied.

I. BACKGROUND

On February 17, 2015, FMIC filed a Complaint against Tepper Properties, Inc. (“Tepper”), KP Construction D/B/A Mark Katona Roofing (“Katona”), and John Perna (“Perna”) seeking a declaratory judgment to determine its right and obligations under an insurance policy (the “Policy”) it issued to Katona and Perna. See Compl. Jurisdiction is based on diversity of citizenship, [1] and that the amount in controversy is in excess of $75, 000. See 28 U.S.C. § 3332.

Underlying the instant action is a civil action currently pending in the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas filed by Tepper against Katona and Perna. (Pl.’s Resp., Ex. A.) In that action, Tepper brought suit against Katona and Perna in connection with a contract for roofing services related to the replacement of a roof on a multi-family dwelling owned by Tepper. (Id.) Tepper claims that, instead of replacing the roof, Katona and Perna patched the existing roof, which caused damage to the building and the internal apartments. (Id.) The state court complaint (“State Complaint”) alleges claims for breach of contract, breach of express warranty, breach of implied warranty, and breach of Pennsylvania’s Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law (the “UTPCPL”). See Compl. It also seeks damages in excess of $50, 000.[2] (Id.)

Tepper filed a Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction in this Court on April 10, 2014, arguing that the amount in controversy in this action does not exceed $75, 000. (Doc. No. 4.) This Court denied the Motion on May 21, 2015. See Frederick Mut. Ins. Co. v. KP Const., No. 15-0764, 2015 WL 2417742, at *1 (E.D. Pa. May 21, 2015). Defendants filed their own Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) on May 5, 2015. (Doc. No. 10.) FMIC filed a Response in Opposition on May 26, 2015. (Doc. No. 13.)

II. STANDARDS OF LAW

A. Jurisdiction

A district court has original jurisdiction over a civil action where the litigation involves citizens of different States, and “where the matter in controversy exceeds the sum or value of $75, 000, exclusive of interest and costs.” 28 U.S.C. § 1332.

28 U.S.C. § 1332(a) provides in relevant part:

The district courts shall have original jurisdiction of all civil actions where the matter in controversy exceeds the sum or value of $75, 000, exclusive of interest and costs, and is between –
(1) citizens of different States.

28 U.S.C. § 1332(a).

B. Motion to Dismiss


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