In July of 2010, the United States District Court, Western District of Kentucky heard a case that involved legal questions as to whether or not it was proper to remove the case from the Jefferson Circuit Court to the Western District Kentucky Federal Court or not. (See Ryan v. Discover Property & Casualty Ins. Co., 2010 WL 3001517 (W.D.Ky.))
In Ryan, the case arose from a Louisville car accident that occurred between the Plaintiff and a Mr. Digiovanni. A car accident lawsuit was filed on October 25, 2007 in Jefferson Circuit Court. The lawsuit also had a claim for an under-insured motorist claim against the Plaintiffs’ own insurance company. Then after filing the lawsuit, Plaintiffs learned that the Defendant may have been working at the time of the accident, so they amended the complaint to include his employer. This brought on months of fighting as to whether the Defendant was an employee or independent contractor. The state court finally ruled that the Defendant was employed at the time of the accident. Thus, the Plaintiff before settling with the corporate Defendant amended their complaint to include a claim for bad faith under the Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act. After the corporation defendant settled out, the new defendant “Discover” removed the case to federal court on May 4, 2010. Thus this Louisville car accident case was now being argued in federal court.
The Plaintiffs in this Louisville car accident case stated that removable after one year of the commencement of the action was not proper and sited federal statute 28 USC 1446(b). The federal court did not agree and after citing case law and the court interpreting legislative intent and the statute again, the court held that “where a plaintiff joins a separate and independent claim against a new defendant after the original filing date, the commencement date of that claim, for purposes of Section 1446(b), is deemed the date of such joinder.” Id.
The Court also discussed the filing of the car accident bad faith claim and whether that was a separate and independent claim from the underlying action, the Court held that it was so in that the removal of that claim was within the 30 days time limit and in that the removal of the entire case was within the 1 year time limit of the filing of the adding of the new party action, removal was proper for this Louisville car accident case. Id.
Thus, in this Louisville car accident case, the Plaintiffs now had to continue with their case in federal court as compared to state court. This may seem more complicated or more of an uphill battle for the Plaintiffs, but, if they have a good Louisville car accident attorney, they should be fine.
If you have been the subject of a Louisville car accident matter, ple
ase call and speak to a Louisville car accident lawyer at the Law Offices of Andrew S. Alitowski at 888-ASK-ANDREW (275-2637) or contact us online. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
If you are injured…Ask Andrew!!!