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Corrado v. Timber Ridge Health Care Center

United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania

May 25, 2017

ERNEST CORRRADO, as Administrator of the ESTATE OF ELEANOR CORRADO, deceased and ERNEST CORRADO, Individually, Plaintiff,
v.
TIMBER RIDGE HEALTH CARE CENTER, VALLEY CREST NURSING, L.P., VALLEY CREST NURSING GP, LLC, and VALLEY CREST NURSING, INC., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM

          RICHARD P. CONABOY United States District Judge

         Here the Court considers Defendants' Motion to Dismiss Pursuant to Fed. R.C.P. 12(b)(1) and, Alternatively, Fed. R.C.P. 12(b)(6). (Doc. 7.) With the motion, Defendants asserts the following: 1) because diversity jurisdiction does not exist, the Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction and the Complaint (Doc. 1) must be dismissed pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1); and 2) should the Complaint (Doc. 1) not be dismissed based on subject matter jurisdiction, the parties should be compelled to proceed to arbitration. (Doc. 12 at 3.) For the reasons discussed below, the Court concludes dismissal is appropriate pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1).

         I. Background [1]

         The Decedent, Eleanor Corrado, was eighty-four years old when she was admitted to Timber Ridge Health Care Center (“Timber Ridge”) on October 9, 2015. (Doc. 1 ¶¶ 9, 10.) She died eleven days later, on October 20, 2015, after she was dropped from a Hoyer lift. (Id. ¶ 2.) Plaintiff filed the Complaint on January 23, 2017. (Doc. 1.)

         The Complaint states that Plaintiff is a resident of the state of Florida with a permanent address of 7245 Mahaffey Drive, Apartment A, New Port Richey, Pasco County, Florida. (Doc. 1 ¶ 1.) The Complaint also states that, at the time of her death, Eleanor Corrado was a resident of the state of Florida with the same permanent address. (Id.)

         Records from Timber Ridge are attached to the Complaint. (Doc. 12-1.) A Progress Note dated October 9, 2015, identified as an “Admission Summary” indicates that Mrs. Corrado was accompanied by her daughter, Eleanor, and son-on-law, and that she planned “to live at the facility long-term.” (Id. at 4.) An “Occupational Therapy Certification” contains a “Past Medical History” section which states the following: “As per chart: 84 y/o female resident admitted to TRHCC for LTC placement from another SNF in Florida in order to be located closer to her daughters.” (Doc. 12-1 at 1.)

         An October 11, 2015, “Activities Assessment” states that Mrs. Corrado “[m]oved here from Florida to be closer to family.” (Id. at 2.) A Social Service Progress Note dated October 15, 2015, indicates that the Decedent was referred to as “Ellie” and “Eleanor” and her daughter was referred to as “Eleanor.” (Id. at 3.) The Noted stated that

Ellie's daugher Eleanor visited with MSW to complete initial paperwork. Ellie is a transfer from Trinity Regional SNF in Florida. She is diagnosed with COPD, UTI, depression, anxiety, Alzheimer's. Eleanor is alert and oriented with some confusion at times, and she is able to express her needs. Ellie is here for long term care. Her husband is in the process of moving to Wilkes-Barre from Florida. Her children live in nearby towns. . . . She has a living will and POA; copies requested. Eleanor denied any concern at this time.

(Doc. 12-1 at 3.)

         II. Discussion

         A. Legal Standards

         “Federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction . . . [and] possess only that power authorized by Constitution and statute. . . . It is to be presumed that a cause lies outside this limited jurisdiction.” Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Col. of America, 511 U.S. 375, 377 (1994) (citations omitted).

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) provides for dismissal of claims based on the lack of subject-matter jurisdiction. District courts “enjoy substantial procedural flexibility in handling Rule 12(b)(1) motions.” Berardi v. Swanson Mem'l Lodge No. 48, 920 F.2d 198, 200 (3d Cir. 1990); see also McCann v. Irrevocable Trust, 458 F.3d 281, 290 (3d Cir. 2006) (quoting Berardi, 920 F.2d at 200). The Third Circuit Court of Appeals set out standards for reviewing challenges to subject-matter jurisdiction in Lincoln Ben. Life. Co. v. AEI Life, LLC, 800 F.3d 99 (3d Cir. 2015).

The burden of establishing federal jurisdiction rests with the party asserting its existence. Challenges to subject matter jurisdiction may be facial or factual. A facial attack concerns an alleged pleading deficiency whereas a factual attack concerns the actual failure of a plaintiff's ...

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