United States District Court, C.D. California
Present: The Honorable JOHN A. KRONSTADT, UNITED STATES
CIVIL MINUTES - GENERAL
(IN CHAMBERS) ORDER RE MOTION TO REMAND (DKT. 9)
TO FILE OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO REMAND (DKT.
Shuler (“Plaintiff”) brought this action in the
Los Angeles Superior Court on February 24, 2017, as an
individual and successor in interest on behalf of Frances Ann
Riedel (“Riedel”). The action seeks relief
against EmeriCare Inc., dba Brookdale San Dimas
(“EmeriCare”) and Brookdale Living Communities,
Inc. (“Brookdale”) (jointly,
“Defendants”). Ex. A to Notice of Removal,
Complaint, Dkt. 1. Michael Stone and Rani Riedel are named as
nominal defendants. Id. The Complaint advances the
following causes of action: (i) elder abuse and neglect, Cal.
Welfare & Inst. Code § 15610 et seq.; (ii)
violation of Patient's Bill of Rights, Cal. Health &
Safety Code §§ 1599 and 1276; (iii) wrongful death;
(iv) negligent hiring, training and supervision; (v)
negligence; and (vi) unfair business practices, Cal. Bus.
& Prof. Code § 17200. Id.
April 7, 2017, Defendants removed the action based on claimed
diversity jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§
1332 and 1441. Notice of Removal (“Notice”), Dkt.
1 ¶ 6. The removal was based upon Defendants'
representation that they are not California citizens.
Id. ¶¶ 8-11. It is undisputed that
Plaintiff is a citizen of California, and that the
citizenship of the nominal defendants is not relevant to the
determination whether there is diversity jurisdiction.
Id. ¶ Plaintiff moved to remand the action to
the Superior Court on May 5, 2017 (“Motion”).
Dkt. 9-1. Plaintiff alleges that, because EmeriCare is a
citizen of California, there is not complete diversity.
Id. at 4. Defendants opposed the Motion
(“Opposition”) (Dkt. 24), and Plaintiff replied. Dkt.
hearing on the Motion was held on July 24, 2017. For the
reasons stated in this Order, the Motion is DENIED.
Factual and Procedural Background
Complaint alleges that on July 3, 2016, Riedel fell, and was
then transported to a hospital, where she was diagnosed with
having a broken hip. Complaint ¶ 73. She was 75.
Id. ¶ 70. Prior to her accident, Plaintiff had
lived independently at her home, and “was able to
perform the activities of daily living.” Id.
¶ 71. Three days after the accident, Riedel was
transferred from the hospital to EmeriCare's Los Angeles
County facility for rehabilitation. Id. ¶ 73.
The Complaint alleges that, while Riedel was the facility,
she received inadequate care. Id. ¶¶
74-90. This caused a rapid decline in her health, and then
her death. Id. ¶¶ 92, 126.
to the Complaint, Defendants are business entities engaged in
the ownership and operation of a skilled nursing facility
licensed in California. Id. ¶ 14. The Complaint
represents that Brookdale is a corporation organized under
the laws of Delaware doing business in Los Angeles.
Id. ¶ 10. In the Notice, Defendants represent
that Brookdale is organized under the laws of Delaware, and
has its principal place of business in Tennessee. Notice
Complaint also alleges that EmeriCare is a Delaware
corporation with its principal place of business in Los
Angeles. Complaint ¶ 10. In the Notice of Removal,
Defendants represent that EmeriCare is organized under the
laws of Delaware, and has its principal place of business in
Tennessee. Notice ¶ 11.
support of the Motion, Plaintiff submitted certain business
and public records. The website of the Tennessee Secretary of
State does not show any results for a search of the name
EmeriCare, Inc. Ex. E-2 to Declaration of Mary E. Lockington
(“Lockington Decl.”), Dkt. 9-2 at 44. The website
of the California Secretary of State shows that EmeriCare is
registered to do business in California. Ex. E-2 to
Lockington Decl., Dkt. 9-2 at 46. It is listed as a
“Foreign Stock” entity. Id. Both the
entity address and the entity mailing address for EmeriCare
are in Tennessee. Id. Corporation Service Company
(“CSC”) is designated as the agent for service of
process for EmeriCare in California. Id. CSC has a
California mailing address.
has also submitted what appears to be a public record for the
San Dimas EmeriCare facility. The record states that the
facility is located in San Dimas. Ex. F to Lockington Decl.,
Dkt. 9-2 at 49. It lists EmeriCare as the licensee of the
facility. Id. A Seattle address is shown for
support of the Opposition, as part of the effort to meet
their burden of proof, Defendants filed a declaration from
Joanne Leskowicz, Senior Vice President of Tax for Brookdale
Senior Living. Declaration of Joanne Leskowicz
(“Leskowicz Decl.”), Dkt. 24-1 ¶
She does not describe the relationship among Brookdale Senior
Living, EmeriCare and Brookdale. However, she states that,
through 2016, EmeriCare's headquarters were located in
Seattle, Washington. Id. ¶ 5. In 2017, they
were relocated to Tennessee. Id. Leskowicz states
that all of the directors of the board and executive officers
of EmeriCare are located in Tennessee, and that EmeriCare
directs, controls and coordinates the implementation of
global activities from Tennessee. Id. ¶¶
6-7. The declaration of Leskowicz attaches a
“Fictitious Business Name Statement” for Emeritus
at San Dimas that identifies the “principal place
of business” for Emeritus as 1740 San Dimas Ave. Ex. A
to Leskowicz Decl., Dkt. 24-1 at 5. EmeriCare is listed as
its registered owner. Id. A Seattle address is
listed for EmeriCare. Id.