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.

Tran v. Macy's Inc.

United States District Court, S.D. California

July 20, 2017

THU VU TRAN, Plaintiff,
v.
MACY'S INC., a Ohio corporation; MACY'S STORE NO. 550, a business entity form unknown; JANE “DOE, ” a resident of the County of San Diego, California; and DOES 2 through 250 Inclusive, Defendants.

          ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO AMEND AND REMAND

          HON. DANA M. SABRAW United States District Judge

         This case comes before the Court on Plaintiff's motion to amend the Complaint and to thereafter remand this case to state court. Defendant Macy's West Stores, Inc. filed an opposition to the motion, and Plaintiff filed a reply. For the reasons set out below, the motion is granted.

         I. BACKGROUND

         On November 25, 2016, [1] Plaintiff Thu Vu Tran went to the Macy's Store in Westfield North County of Escondido. (Id.) While in the store, Plaintiff tripped and fell on a necklace that was lying on the floor. (Id.) After the fall, Plaintiff was trampled by a throng of shoppers. (Id.) As a result of this incident, Plaintiff suffered “multiple fractures to her left leg, necessitating surgery with implantation of rods and screws, lower back injuries and severe bruising, most especially on her left arm, and causing other associated damages and losses[.]” (Id.)

         On March 9, 2017, Plaintiff filed the present case in San Diego Superior Court against Macy's Inc., Macy's Store No. 550 and Jane “Doe, ” a resident of the County of San Diego, California. The Complaint alleges claims for negligence and premises liability. On April 20, 2017, Plaintiff amended the Complaint to name Macy's West Stores, Inc. in place of Macy's, Inc. Macy's West Stores, Inc. filed an Answer to the Complaint on May 5, 2017, and on May 11, 2017, removed the case to this Court on the basis of diversity jurisdiction. The present motion followed.

         II. DISCUSSION

         Plaintiff requests leave to amend her Complaint to substitute Christine Loughridge for Defendant Jane “Doe.” With this amendment, Plaintiff asserts diversity jurisdiction is lacking, and the case must be remanded to state court.

         Although leave to amend generally is governed by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15(a), this Rule “‘does not apply when a plaintiff amends her complaint after removal to add a diversity destroying defendant.'” Dorfman v. Mass. Casualty Ins. Co., No. CV 15-06370 MMM (ASx), 2015 WL 7312413, at *2 (C.D. Cal. Nov. 19, 2015) (quoting Greer v. Lockheed Martin, No. CV 10-1704 JF (HRL), 2010 WL 3168408, at *4 (N.D. Cal. Aug. 10, 2010)). In that situation, courts look to 28 U.S.C. § 1447(e), which states, “[i]f after removal the plaintiff seeks to join additional defendants whose joinder would destroy subject matter jurisdiction, the court may deny joinder, or permit joinder and remand the action to the State court.” 28 U.S.C. § 1447(e).

When deciding whether to permit joinder under § 1447(e), a court should consider the following factors: (1) whether the party sought to be joined is needed for just adjudication and would be joined under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 19(a); (2) whether the statute of limitations would prevent the filing of a new action against the new defendant in state court; (3) whether there has been an unexplained delay in seeking to join the new defendant; (4) whether the plaintiff seeks to join the new party solely to defeat federal jurisdiction; (5) whether denial of the joinder would prejudice the plaintiff; and (6) the strength of the claims against the new defendant.

Mkrtchian v. AT&T Mobility Services, LLC, No. LACV 16-09102 VAP (AJWx), 2017 WL 2957931, at *2 (C.D. Cal. July 7, 2017) (citing Boon v. Allstate Ins. Co., 229 F.Supp.2d 1016, 1020 (C.D. Cal. 2002)).

         A. Just Adjudication

         “‘Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 19 requires joinder of persons whose absence would preclude the grant of complete relief, or whose absence would impede their ability to protect their interests or would subject any of the parties to the danger of inconsistent obligations.'” Id. (quoting Clinco v. Roberts, 41 F.Supp.2d 1080, 1082 (C.D. Cal. 1999)). “While courts consider the standard set forth under Rule 19 in determining whether to permit joinder under section 1447(e), ‘amendment under § 1447(e) is a less restrictive standard than for joinder under [Rule 19]'” Id. (quoting IBC Aviation Services, Inc. v. Compania Mexicana de Aviacion, S.A. de C.V., 125 F.Supp.2d 1008, 1011-12 (N.D. Cal. 2000)). This less restrictive standard “‘is met when failure to join will lead to separate and redundant actions, ' but it is not met when ‘defendants are only tangentially related to the cause of action or would not prevent complete relief.'” Id. (quoting IBC Aviation, 125 F.Supp.2d at 1012).

         Neither Plaintiff nor Defendant addresses this factor directly, but based on the facts presented, it is possible that failure to join Ms. Loughridge could lead to separate and redundant actions. Ms. Loughridge is alleged to be the Merchandise Lead at the Macy's Store where the accident occurred. Thus, she could be held responsible for any negligent conduct on her own behalf or on behalf of any employees under her supervision. Assuming Ms. Loughridge was acting in the course and scope of her employment at the time of the accident, it is likely Macy's would defend Ms. Loughridge, and thus a separate action against her would be unnecessary. Theoretically, however, it is possible that failure to join Ms. Loughridge as a party to this case could result in Plaintiff having to litigate two separate cases in two separate courts arising out of the same incident. Accordingly, this factor weighs in favor of granting leave to amend.

         B. Statute ...


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.