The opinion of the court was delivered by: The Honorable Gary Allen Feess
Present: The Honorable GARY ALLEN FEESS
Renee Fisher None N/A Deputy Clerk Court Reporter / Recorder Tape No.
Attorneys Present for Plaintiffs: Attorneys Present for Defendants: None None
Proceedings: (In Chambers)
ORDER RE: MOTION TO REMAND
I. INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND
Plaintiff Cydney Sue Wilson-Condon ("Plaintiff") brought this suit against Allstate Indemnity Company ("Allstate") and various other Allstate entities in Los Angeles County Superior Court on May 4, 2011. (Docket No. 1, Not. of Removal, Ex. A [Compl.].) On June 30, 2011, she filed a First Amended Complaint also naming Dr. Tye J. Ouzounian ("Dr. Ouzounian") as a defendant. (Not., Ex. C [First Am. Compl. ("FAC")].) On July 5, 2011, Allstate removed the action to this Court on the purported basis of diversity jurisdiction. (Not. at 1--2.) Plaintiff now moves to remand the action to state court on the ground that the parties are not diverse and that this Court accordingly lacks subject matter jurisdiction. (Docket No. 8.)
Plaintiff, a California citizen*fn1 , alleges that she purchased an automobile insurance policy from Allstate that, among other things, covered Plaintiff for damages she would be legally entitled to recover because of bodily injury caused by an accident arising out of the ownership, maintenance, or use of an uninsured auto. (FAC ¶ 6.) On June 22, 2007, Plaintiff was involved in an accident with an uninsured auto in which Plaintiff suffered a severe foot fracture that has resulted in permanent residual disfigurement and disability. (Id. ¶¶ 7--8.) Plaintiff avers that she submitted a claim to Allstate under her policy, but Allstate denied it.*fn2 (Id. ¶ 16.) Plaintiff accordingly asserts claims against Allstate for breach of contract, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and breach of fiduciary duty. (Id. ¶¶ 9--32.)
Plaintiff further alleges that Allstate and Dr. Ouzounian conspired to defraud Plaintiff and to deprive her of her right to obtain benefits by stating that Plaintiff's injuries had existed since before the accident. (Id. ¶ 41.) Specifically, Plaintiff alleges, Allstate and Dr. Ouzounian agreed that Dr. Ouzounian would write a false report that would justify a plausible denial of Plaintiff's claim. (Id. ¶ 42.) Plaintiff also alleges that Dr. Ouzounian illegally recorded confidential communications between Plaintiff and Plaintiff's counsel's agent without their consent and then transcribed the communications and transmitted them to Allstate. (Id. ¶ 35.) On the basis of these allegations, Plaintiff asserts claims against Dr. Ouzounian for invasion of privacy in violation of the California Privacy Act, Cal. Penal Code §§ 632 et seq., for conspiracy, and for intentional infliction of emotional distress. (Id. ¶¶ 33--52.) Dr. Ouzounian is a citizen of California, but Allstate contends he is a sham defendant who Plaintiff added for the sole purpose of defeating diversity jurisdiction. (Not. ¶¶ 5, 8.)
PLAINTIFF'S FAILURE TO MEET AND CONFER
Under Local Rule 7-3, "counsel contemplating the filing of any motion shall first contact opposing counsel to discuss thoroughly, preferably in person, the substance of the contemplated motion and any potential resolution" at least five or ten days before filing the motion, depending on the type of motion. C.D. Cal. R. 7-3. Allstate suggests that Plaintiff's motion to remand should be denied for failure to comply with this rule. (Opp. at 2.) The Court acknowledges that Plaintiff did not meet and confer with Allstate regarding her motion to remand within the time period required by Rule 7-3. (See Docket No. 15, Declaration of Katherine Harvey-Lee ("Harvey-Lee Decl.") ¶ 3.) Nonetheless, Allstate does not appear to have suffered any prejudice from Plaintiff's failure to meet and confer sufficiently in advance, and Allstate was ...