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.

Dutchmaid Logistics, Inc. v. Navistar, Inc.

United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Eastern Division

April 11, 2017

DUTCHMAID LOGISTICS, INC., et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
NAVISTAR, INC., Defendant.

          Judge Michael H. Watson

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          ELIZABETH A. PRESTON DEAVERS UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         This matter is before the Court for consideration of Plaintiffs' Motion to Remand to State Court. (ECF No. 7.) Defendant filed its Response in Opposition to Plaintiff's Motion on October 6, 2016. (ECF No. 8.) Plaintiffs filed their Reply to the Opposition on October 20, 2016. (ECF No. 13.) For the reasons that follow, it is RECOMMENDED that Plaintiffs' Motion be GRANTED.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiffs Dutchmaid Logistics, Inc., PCM Transport, LLC, and Mark R. Lewis, LLC (collectively, “Plaintiffs”) are logistic companies and owners of commercial trucking fleets. (ECF No. 2; the “Complaint” or “Compl.” ¶¶ 7-12.) All Plaintiffs are citizens of the State of Ohio. (Id. ¶¶ 1-3.) Plaintiffs initiated this action on February 12, 2015 by filing an original complaint in the Licking County, Ohio Court of Common Pleas. (Id.) Plaintiffs brought claims against Navistar, Inc. (“Defendant” or “Navistar”), a Delaware-based manufacturer of trucks and other equipment, including International brand heavy-duty commercial trucks and Maxxforce brand diesel engines, and Truck Sales & Service, Inc. (“Truck Sales”), an Ohio corporation that sells and services Navistar trucks and equipment, including International trucks and Maxxforce diesel engines. (Id. ¶¶ 10-12.) Plaintiffs brought the following claims against Navistar and Truck Sales: (1) breach of express warranty; (2) breach of implied warranty; (3) breach of contract; (4) fraudulent misrepresentation; and (5) fraud. Plaintiffs' action is based on Defendants' alleged misconduct based on knowledge of the flawed MaxxForce engines, and failure to fulfill warranty obligations. (Id. ¶¶ 77-126.)

         After months of discovery, Truck Sales filed a motion to dismiss under Ohio Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) on August 19, 2016. (ECF No. 7-4.) On September 2, 2016, Plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed Truck Sales from the State Court action. On September 7, 2016, Navistar filed a Notice of Removal from State court on the grounds that Plaintiffs acted in “bad faith, ” pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1446(c)(1), for failure to actually litigate against Truck Sales. (ECF No. 1.) In the alternative, Navistar claims that Truck Sales was fraudulently joined to destroy diversity. Plaintiffs subsequently filed a Motion to Remand to State Court on September 12, 2016, asserting that neither bad faith nor fraudulent joinder exist such that removal was proper. (ECF No. 7.) The Motion to Remand is now ripe for review.

         II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         Generally, a civil case brought in a state court may be removed by a defendant to federal court if it could have been brought there originally. 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a); Rogers v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 230 F.3d 868, 871 (6th Cir. 2000). A federal court has original “diversity” jurisdiction where the suit is between citizens of different states and the amount in controversy exceeds $75, 000.00, exclusive of costs and interests. 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a). Rogers, 239 F.3d at 871.

         When an action is removed based on diversity, a federal court must determine whether complete diversity exists at the time of removal. Coyne v. American Tobacco Co., 183 F.3d 488, 492 (6th Cir. 1999). “Diversity jurisdiction attaches only when all parties on one side of the litigation are of a different citizenship from all parties on the other side of the litigation.” Id. (quoting SHR Ltd. Partnership v. Braun, 888 F.2d 455, 456 (6th Cir. 1989)).

         If the case initially is not removable under the above standards, a notice of removal may be filed within thirty days after receipt by the defendant, through service or otherwise, of a copy of an amended pleading, motion, order, or other paper from which it may first be ascertained that the case is one which is or has become removable. 28 U.S.C. § 1446(b)(3). Removal based upon diversity jurisdiction may not be sought, however, more than one-year after commencement of the action, unless the district court finds that the plaintiff has acted in bad faith in order to prevent a defendant from removing the action. 28 U.S.C. § 1446(c)(1).

         The Sixth Circuit has not clearly defined the meaning of “bad faith” in the statute. Federal courts that have examined the statutory language, however, agree that the issue is whether the plaintiff engaged in intentional conduct to deny the defendant the chance to remove the case to federal court. See Hiser v. Seay, No. 5:14-CV-170, 2014 WL 6885433, at *4 (W.D. Ky. Dec. 5, 2014); Taylor v. King, No. 5:12-CV-1, 2012 WL 3257528 at *4 (W.D. Ky. Aug. 8, 2012); Ehrenreich v. Black, 994 F.Supp.2d 284 (E.D. N.Y. 2014) (discussing the statutory language and finding that the “bad faith” exception was not met because the plaintiff did not take any actions intended to prevent removal).

         III. ANALYISIS

         A. Navistar's notice of removal was timely under § 1446(b)(3)

         Under §1446(b)(3), a notice of removal must be filed within 30 days after receipt by the defendant, through service or otherwise, of a copy of an amended pleading, motion, order or other paper from which it may first be ascertained that the case is one which is or has become removable. It is not disputed that Plaintiff's voluntary dismissal of Truck Sales on September 7, 2016 constitutes “other paper.” (ECF No. 7, at 3.) It is also not disputed that Navistar filed ...


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.