Court Grants Motion to Dismiss Chipotle Restaurant in Personal Injury Case
May 17, 2012
William D. Naeve and Terry L. Kesinger successfully defended a Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurant in a serious bodily injury claim originally filed in a California state court.
Although the complaint did not itself allege the dollar amount of damages the plaintiff sought to recover from the defendant, Mr. Naeve nevertheless removed the case to Federal Court by taking advantage of a relatively new revision to the removal statutes. These revisions permit removal in diversity cases if a defendant can make a good faith showing that the amount in controversy likely exceeds the $75,000 "case in controversy" minimum required to trigger removal jurisdiction. Since the plaintiff's complaint did not allege a dollar amount of damages sought to be recovered, the Murchison & Cumming attorneys demonstrated to the court that the case could have a value in excess of $75,000. The plaintiff's lawyer argued to remand the case back to state court. United States District Court Judge Virginia Phillips refused and the case remained venued in Federal Court.
The defense then propounded pointed discovery and demanded that the plaintiff and her lawyer participate in the pre-trial procedures required in Federal Court litigation. Thereafter, the plaintiff refused to participate in most of these procedures and failed to submit timely responses to discovery requests. In light of the plaintiff's refusal to follow these pre-trial rules, the defense drafted and filed a motion asking Judge Phillips to dismiss the case.
The court granted the motion and dismissed the plaintiff's case against Chipotle.
William D. Naeve