Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Boone v. Duffy Box & Recycling, Inc.

United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina

December 6, 2017

BARBARA BOONE, as Administratrix of the Estate of Eugene Boone, Plaintiff,
v.
DUFFY BOX & RECYCLING, INC., BRIAN C. MORAN, JOHN DOE, an employee or agent of Duffy Box & Recycling, Inc., GREIF INDUSTRIAL PACKAGING & SERVICES, LLC, GREIF PACKAGING, LLC, and GREIF, INC., Defendants.

          ORDER

          Graham C. Mullen United States District Judge

         This matter is before the Court upon the Plaintiff's Motion to Remand to State Court (Doc. No. 9) and the Motion to Dismiss filed by Defendants Duffy Box and Brian Moran (Doc. No. 4). These Motions are ripe for disposition. For the following reasons, Plaintiff's Motion to Remand is granted and Defendants' Motion to Dismiss is denied without prejudice.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff's Decedent, Eugene Boone, was a tractor-trailer driver employed by Cowan Systems, LLC (“Cowan”). On May 23, 2016, Eugene Boone's tractor trailer was loaded with corrugated cardboard at a facility in Greensboro, North Carolina, that is owned and operated by Defendant Duffy Box & Recycling, Inc. (“Duffy Box”). Eugene Boone then drove to a facility in Blackstone, Virginia, that is owned and operated by Greif Industrial Packaging & Services, LLC, Greif Packaging, LLC, and Greif, Inc. (collectively, “the Greif Defendants”). When he arrived at the Blackstone facility and opened one of the trailer doors, a cardboard bundle weighing approximately 800 pounds fell out of the trailer onto Eugene Boone, causing his death.

         Plaintiff Barbara Boone alleges that Defendant John Doe, an unidentified agent or employee of Duffy Box, improperly loaded the tractor trailer at the Greensboro facility in a manner that created an unreasonable danger. She also alleges that Defendant Brian Moran (“Moran”), an owner of Duffy Box and the manager of the Greensboro facility, was negligent in hiring, training, supervising, and entrusting John Doe, and in failing to implement necessary safety procedures and inspections.

         As administratrix of her husband's estate, Boone brought this cause of action in the Superior Court of Mecklenburg County on June 9, 2017, raising eight claims for relief: (1) negligent and wanton conduct by Duffy Box, (2) breach of contract by Duffy Box, (3) negligent and wanton conduct by Moran, (4) negligent and wanton conduct by John Doe, (5) vicarious liability of Duffy Box, and (6-8) negligent and wanton conduct of each of the Greif Defendants.

         The named defendants collectively removed this action to federal court on July 11, 2017. Defendants Duffy Box and Moran subsequently filed a Motion to Dismiss on July 18, 2017, and Boone filed a Motion to Remand on July 31, 2017.

         II. MOTION TO REMAND

         Plaintiff filed this Motion to Remand asserting that this Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over the cause of action. Specifically, Plaintiff claims that the presence of Defendants Brian Moran and John Doe destroys diversity jurisdiction.

         Barbara Boone is a citizen and resident of the State of North Carolina. Brian Moran is a citizen and resident of the State of North Carolina. Although his identity has not been revealed by the named defendants, Boone alleges that John Doe is also a citizen and resident of the State of North Carolina.

         Any civil action filed in a state court may be removed by a defendant to federal court if the federal court would have had original jurisdiction over the matter. 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a). Federal district courts have original subject matter jurisdiction in civil actions where the matter in controversy exceeds $75, 000 and is between citizens of different states. Id. § 1332(a). Removal on the basis of diversity jurisdiction is only permissible if there is complete diversity, such that none of the “properly joined and served” defendants are citizens of the same state as the plaintiff. Id. § 1441(b)(2). Additionally, “the citizenship of defendants sued under fictitious names shall be disregarded” in assessing subject matter jurisdiction. Id. § 1441(b)(1).

         Defendants, in their Notice of Removal and subsequent memoranda, assert that Brian Moran is fraudulently joined, must be dismissed from the case, and must not be considered for purposes of establishing diversity jurisdiction.

         A. Standard of Review

         The party seeking removal bears the burden of establishing federal jurisdiction. Mulcahey v. Columbia Organic Chems. Co., 29 F.3d 148, 151 (4th Cir. 1994). Because removal jurisdiction is strictly construed, a remand is necessary “[i]f federal jurisdiction is doubtful.” Id. “To show fraudulent joinder, the removing party must demonstrate either ‘outright fraud in the plaintiff's pleading of jurisdictional facts' or that ‘there is no possibility that the plaintiff would be able to establish a cause of action against the in-state defendant in state court.'” Ha ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.