United States District Court, N.D. California, San Jose Division
ORDER DENYING MOTION TO REMAND RE: DKT. NO.
J. DAVILA United States District Judge
Ruben Sklar moves to remand this case to Santa Clara County
Superior Court, arguing that the amount in controversy is
less than $75, 000 and that removal was untimely. Sklar's
motion will be DENIED.
bought a barbecue grill from Defendant Orchard Supply
Company, LLC. Pl.'s Mot. to Remand (“Mot.”)
at 2, Dkt. No. 14. Orchard's employees assembled it and
loaded it into Sklar's truck. Id. at 2-3. Back
home, as Sklar tried to unload the grill, it slipped and
“sliced his thumb, rupturing his tendon and damaging
his radial nerve.” Id. at 3.
filed a complaint in Santa Clara County Superior Court in
March of 2016. Notice of Removal Ex. A, Dkt. No 1. Sklar also
served a statement of damages indicating that he seeks to
recover $840, 000 for (1) past medical expenses, (2) future
medical expenses, and (3) pain, suffering, and inconvenience.
Notice of Removal Ex. E at 1. Orchard removed to this Court
on the basis of diversity jurisdiction. Id. at
3-6. Sklar moves to remand.
may be removed to federal court if it (1) raises a federal
question or (2) is between citizens of different states and
the amount in controversy exceeds $75, 000. 28 U.S.C.
§§ 1441, 1332. Defendants have the burden of
showing that removal was proper. Gaus v. Miles,
Inc., 980 F.3d 564, 566 (9th Cir. 1992). Courts must
strictly construe the removal statute against removal.
Ethridge v. Harbor House Rest., 861 F.2d 1389, 1393
(9th Cir. 1988). Cases should be remanded if there is any
doubt about the existence of federal jurisdiction.
Gaus, 980 F.2d at 566.
Timeliness of Removal
defendant has 30 days to file a notice of removal after
receiving “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. §
The amount in controversy exceeds $75, 000.
five months after filing his complaint, Sklar served a
statement of damages on Orchard, which indicated that he
seeks damages of $60, 000 for past medical expenses, $30, 000
for future medical expenses, and $750, 000 for pain,
suffering, and inconvenience. Notice of Removal Ex. E at 1.
Thirty days later, Orchard removed to this Court on the basis
of diversity jurisdiction. Id.; Mot. at 2.
now argues that removal was improper because the damages
statement does not, in fact, reflect the amount he actually
seeks to recover. Mot. at 4-7. According to Sklar, there is
“nothing in the statement of damages to indicate its
reliability.” Mot. at 7. He calls it
“unrealistic, ” “uncertain, ”