United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
E. SCHWAB CHIEF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
negligence case, the defendant, Brookmont Health Care Center
(“Brookmont”), has filed a motion to dismiss the
complaint. Because we find that the court does not have
subject matter jurisdiction over the case, we recommend that
the court grant the motion.
Background and Procedural History.
case began when the plaintiff, Guaironex Martinez
(“Martinez”) filed a complaint in the United
States District Court for the Eastern District of
Pennsylvania. Doc. 2. That court transferred the
case to this court on August 2, 2018, based on its finding
that venue was proper in the Middle District of Pennsylvania.
complaint, Martinez alleges that he was receiving medical
care at Brookmont on an unspecified date. Doc. 2 at 5.
Martinez alleges that while he was at Brookmont, he informed
members of the staff that he was a candidate for a liver
transplant and that he accordingly needed to be closely
monitored. Id. The staff, however, failed to monitor
him, resulting in swelling in his stomach and a buildup of
fluids in his lungs. Id. Martinez was forced to call
an ambulance, which transported him to St. Luke's
Hospital, where he then received treatment for his condition.
Id. The complaint states that Martinez lives in
Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, and that Brookmont is located in
Effort, Pennsylvania. Id. at 3.
February 25, 2019, Brookmont filed a motion to dismiss the
complaint, followed by a brief in support of that motion on
March 5, 2019. Docs. 17-18. Brookmont argues that the
complaint should be dismissed under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(1) because the court does not have subject
matter jurisdiction. Doc. 18 at 5-6. In the alternative,
Brookmont argues that the case should be dismissed under Rule
12(b)(6) because Martinez failed to file a certificate of
merit as required in medical malpractice cases under
Pennsylvania law. Id. at 6.
March 7, 2019, Martinez filed an untitled document in which
he urges the court to “reconsider how Brookmont
refuse[d] to call an ambulance” and otherwise failed to
provide medical care. Doc. 20 at 1. Martinez also states that
he wants to “put a notice of appeal on [his] situation
against Brookmont.” Id. Thus, it appears that
Martinez misconstrues Brookmont's motion to dismiss his
complaint as a court order dismissing the complaint.
Nevertheless, Martinez does not allege any additional facts
in his March 7, 2019 filing that would change the analysis of
whether the court has subject matter jurisdiction or whether
the complaint states a claim upon which relief may be
granted. On March 28, 2019, Brookmont filed a reply brief in
which it reiterates its arguments that the complaint should
be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction and for failure to
state a claim upon which relief may be granted. Id.
The Court Does Not Have Subject Matter Jurisdiction.
courts are courts of limited jurisdiction.” Delalla
v. Hanover Ins., 660 F.3d 180, 184 (3d Cir. 2011)
(quoting Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. of Am.,
511 U.S. 375, 377 (1994)). Accordingly, a party may assert
that a court lacks subject matter jurisdiction through a
motion to dismiss. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1). A motion to dismiss
for lack of subject matter jurisdiction attacks a court's
“very power to hear the case.” Mortensen v.
First Fed. Sav. & Loan Ass'n, 549 F.2d 884, 891
(3d Cir. 1977).
district courts can only exercise subject matter jurisdiction
through two means-federal question jurisdiction and diversity
jurisdiction. See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331-32
(2018). A federal district court has federal question
jurisdiction over “all civil actions arising under the
Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States.”
28 U.S.C. § 1331 (2018). A district court has diversity
jurisdiction where (a) the amount in controversy exceeds $75,
000 and (b) diversity of citizenship exists between the
parties. Id. § 1332(a). 28 U.S.C. § 1332
requires “complete diversity between all plaintiffs and
all defendants.” Lincoln Benefit Life Co. v. AEI
Life, LLC, 800 F.3d 99, 104 (3d Cir. 2015) (quoting
Lincoln Property Co. v. Roche, 546 U.S. 81, 89
(2005)). “This means that, unless there is some other
basis for jurisdiction, ‘no plaintiff may be a citizen
of the same state as any defendant.” Id.
(quoting Zambelli Fireworks Mfg. Co. v. Wood, 592
F.3d 412, 419 (3d Cir. 2010)).
to subject matter jurisdiction under Rule 12(b)(1) must be
either “facial” or “factual.”
Constitution Party of Pennsylvania v. Aichele, 757
F.3d 347, 357 (3d Cir. 2014). “A facial attack, as the
adjective indicates, is an argument that considers a claim on
its face and asserts that it is insufficient to invoke the
subject matter jurisdiction of the court because, for
example, it does not present a question of federal law, or
because there is no indication of a diversity of citizenship
among the parties, or because some other jurisdictional
defect is present.” Id. at 357 (citing
Mortensen, 549 F.2d at 889-92). “A factual