The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in February of 2011 decided a case that had to go back from Federal Court to State Court because of one penny. In Freeland v. Liberty Mutual Fire Ins., 632 F.3d 250 (6th Cir. App. 2011), the Plaintiff was involved in a Kentucky car accident that killed two people and seriously injured three others.
This case was entirely about the bodily injury uninsured motorist insurance. There was a $100,000 bodily injury policy and UM/UIM $25,000 policy. The Defendant in this Kentucky car accident case put forth the $25,000 UM/UIM policy. The question that the Defendant put forth to the court is that even if the Plaintiffs win, they would only be entitled to the difference of $100,000 and $25,000 which is $75,000. And in order for the district court to have original jurisdiction, the “matter in controversy” must “exceed the sum or value of $75,000.” This is exclusive of interest and costs. Therefore the amount in controversy remains one penny short. So what did his Kentucky car accident lawyer do?
So, the Federal court had to remand the case back down to the State court so that the State court could then decide the merits of the case. The Court did note that its hands were tied and that even after all of this litigation and the final outcome being that the case had to be remanded back down because of one penny, the Court stated that it simply had no choice in the matter. “Federal courts are court of limited jurisdiction. They posses only that power authorized by Constitution and statute… which is not to be expanded by judicial decree.” (cites omitted).
If you have been the subject of a Kentucky Car Accident case, please call and speak to a Kentucky Car Accident lawyer at the Law Offices of Andrew Alitowski, P.A. at 888-ASK-ANDREW (888-275-2637) or contact us. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
If you are injured…Ask Andrew!!!