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Sandra Vaughn v. Lowe's Hiw

July 27, 2011

SANDRA VAUGHN, PLAINTIFF,
v.
LOWE'S HIW, INC., A BUSINESS, FORM UNKNOWN; AND DOES 1 THROUGH 100, INCLUSIVE, DEFENDANTS.



(San Bernardino County Superior Court Case No. CIVRS 1105122)

REMAND ORDER

I. BACKGROUND

On or about May 24, 2011, Plaintiff SANDRA VAUGHN ("Plaintiff") commenced the above-entitled civil action in the Superior Court for the County of San Bernardino by filing a Complaint therein entitled SANDRA VAUGHN v. LOWE'S HIW, INC., a business, form unknown; and DOES 1 through 100, Inclusive, Case No. CIVRS 1105122.

Plaintiff's complaint for negligence/premises liability arises out of an alleged incident that took place on September 25, 2010, while plaintiff was shopping in Defendant LOWE'S HIW, INC.'s ("defendant") retail store located in Ontario, California. On that date, plaintiff allegedly slipped and fell on accumulated water on the floor of defendant's store. Plaintiff states in her Complaint that she suffered serious and permanent injuries as a result. .

Because California courts prohibit the inclusion of ad damnun clauses in complaints for personal injuries, plaintiff served a Statement of Damages from pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure § 425.11. After plaintiff submitted a Statement of Damages in excess $75,000, defendant removed the matter to federal court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1332 and 1441(b).

The parties have now agreed and stipulated to limit any and all recovery of damages in this matter at $75,000 or less, as evidenced by the Stipulation Capping Plaintiff's Damages and Recovery at $75,000, executed by both plaintiff and her counsel. Accordingly, the parties seek an order from this Court remanding the case to the Superior Court of California, County of San Bernardino, Case No. CIVRS 1105122.

II. ANALYSIS

United States Code, Title 28, Section 1447(c), provides that "[i]f at any time before final judgment it appears that the district court lacks subject matter jurisdiction, the case shall be remanded." (Emphasis added). In light of the parties' stipulation limiting any and all recovery by plaintiff to $75,000 or less, this Court to lacks subject matter jurisdiction and must, therefore, remand the case to state court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c). See Bruns v. NCUA 122 F.3d 1251, 1257 (9th Cir. 1997) ("Section 1447(c) is mandatory, not discretionary.")

III. CONCLUSION

Because the amount in controversy does not exceed $75,000, this Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction in the present case. Accordingly, the case is REMANDED to the Superior Court of California, County of San Bernardino, Case No. CIVRS 1105122.

SO ORDEREDthis _27th_ day of _July, 2011.

United States District Court Judge

Submitted By: THARPE & HOWELL, LLP By: CHARLES D. MAY GENE B. SHARAGA STEVE PYUN Attorneys for Defendant, LOWE'S HIW, INC. Vaughn v. Lowe's HIW, ...


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