United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania
ABDUR RAUF BAKALI, as administratrix of of the estate of OSMAN M. BAKALI, Plaintiff,
GLENN A. JONES, et al., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
C. MITCHELL United States Magistrate Judge
Abdur Rauf Bakali, as administrator of the estate of Osman M.
Bakali, deceased,  brings this negligence action against
Defendants, Glenn Jones and Eagle Express Lines, Inc.
(“Eagle Express”), arising out of a July 16, 2016
automobile accident in which Osman Bakali
(“Bakali”) was killed. The case was originally
filed in the Superior Court of New Jersey, then removed to
the United States District Court for the District of New
Jersey on the basis of diversity of citizenship and finally
transferred to this Court because the accident occurred in
Washington County, Pennsylvania. The action was filed in this
Court on September 5, 2017.
pending before the Court is a motion, filed by Defendants,
for leave to file a Third Party Complaint, which is attached
to the motion as Exhibit A (ECF No. 37). The proposed Third
Party Complaint would name three Third-Party Defendants and
assert claims against them for negligence and negligent
entrustment. Plaintiff has filed a brief in opposition to the
motion. For the reasons that follow, the motion for leave to
file a Third Party Complaint will be denied.
to the police report which is attached to the Notice of
Removal, on July 16, 2016, Bakali was driving a car westbound
on Interstate 70 with two passengers in the car, Shamaas
Nyazee and Daoud Ahmed Kahn. Bakali pulled the car onto the
shoulder with the rear left tire still in the travel lane and
got out to examine the front of the car because he believed
he had hit something. As he returned to re-enter the vehicle,
he and the car were struck by a truck owned by Eagle Express
and driven by Glenn Jones (“Jones”). Bakali was
thrown from the impact and landed face down on the shoulder,
and he subsequently died from his injuries. (Notice of
Removal Ex. B.)
action was commenced on or about March 13, 2017 in the
Superior Court of New Jersey. Count I alleges a claim of
negligence against both Defendants. Count II alleges a claim
of vicarious liability against Eagle Express. Count III
alleges a claim of negligent hiring against Eagle Express.
Count IV indicates that, to the extent any other party is
responsible for the transport of goods or employment of the
truck driver involved in the accident, Plaintiff will seek to
hold such parties liable.
April 7, 2017, Eagle Express removed the case to the United
States District Court for the District of New Jersey on the
basis of diversity of citizenship in that: Plaintiff was
named administrator of the estate by the probate court of
Butler County, Ohio and the decedent was at the time of the
accident a citizen of the State of Ohio; Eagle Express is an
Illinois corporation with a principal place of business in
South Holland, Illinois; Jones is a citizen of the State of
New Jersey; and the amount in controversy, based on
the death of the decedent, exceeded the sum of $75, 000,
exclusive of interest and costs. (Notice of Removal
¶¶ 5-8, 13-15.)
April 7, 2017, Defendants filed a motion (ECF No. 3) to
transfer the case to this district on the ground that the
accident occurred in Washington County, Pennsylvania,
investigated by Pennsylvania State Troopers and most of the
other witnesses (EMTs, towing company, coroner, witnesses to
the accident) are all located here. Plaintiff did not file an
opposition to the motion. On September 5, 2017, Judge Shipp
filed a Memorandum Order granting the motion and transferring
the case to this Court (ECF No. 4).
4, 2018, Defendants filed a motion for leave to file a Third
Party Complaint (ECF No. 37) and they attached the proposed
Third Party Complaint to their motion (ECF No. 37 Ex. A.) The
proposed Third Party Complaint indicates that Bakali, Nyazee
and Kahn were traveling back from New York, where they had
attended a wedding, in a rental car that was rented by Zarqa
Nyazee (the mother of Shamaas Nyazee), that the three men
were in a “Joint Venture” for this purpose, that
they decided to travel back from the wedding without taking
adequate time to sleep, and that Zarqa Nyazee was the only
individual permitted to drive the rental car. In Count I,
Defendants seek to hold Shamaas Nyazee liable for his
negligence in the “Joint Venture” and in Count
II, they seek to hold Daoud Kahn liable for his negligence.
Count III seeks to hold Zarqa Nyazee liable under a theory of
“negligent entrustment.” On June 18, 2018,
Plaintiff filed a brief in opposition (ECF No. 44).
for Third-Party Joinder
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that:
A defending party may, as third-party plaintiff, serve a
summons and complaint on a nonparty who is or may be liable
to it for all or part of the claim against it. But the
third-party plaintiff must, by motion, obtain the court's
leave if it files the ...