Thursday, December 21, 2023

Motion to Remand Granted After Allegation of Fraudulent Joinder Was Rejected by Federal Court

In the case Harris v. Miller’s Ale House, Inc., No. 23-CV-03349 (E.D. Pa. Nov. 13, 2023 Baylson, J.), the federal court granted a motion to remand a slip and fall case back to state court where the Plaintiff was found to have asserted valid claims against a store manager who resided in the same jurisdiction of the Plaintiff thereby defeating diversity of the parties necessary for federal court jurisdiction.

This case arose out of a slip and fall. The Plaintiff sued Miller’s Ale House, Inc. along with the manager on duty at the time of the Plaintiff’s incident.

The Plaintiff and the manager of the Ale House were both residents of Pennsylvania.

After the Defendant removed the case the federal court, the Defendant conceded that the manager was a resident of the same jurisdiction as the Plaintiff but argued that his joinder was fraudulent because of his involvement in the case simply arose from the course and scope of his employment with the landowner Defendant.

The Plaintiff moved to remand the case back to state court. The court granted the Plaintiff’s Motion to Remand after finding that the Defendants failed to meet their burden of proof with respect to the allegation of a fraudulent joinder. In this regard, the federal court found that negligence claims asserted against a manager of a retail establishment arising out of a slip and all incident were colorable under Pennsylvania law.

Anyone wishing to review a copy of this decision may click this LINK.  The Court's companion Order can be viewed HERE.

Source: “Digest of Recent Opinions.” Pennsylvania Law Weekly (Nov. 28, 2023).

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