United States District Court, D. Nevada
before the court is plaintiff Aurora Garcia's motion to
remand the instant matter back to state court. (ECF No. 12).
Defendant Standard Insurance Company responded. (ECF No. 14).
Garcia replied. (ECF No. 15).
alleges that the amount in controversy does not exceed $75,
000.00. See 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a). She does not
dispute diversity of citizenship.
district courts shall have original jurisdiction of all civil
actions where the matter in controversy exceeds the sum or
value of $75, 000, exclusive of interest and costs, and is
between . . . citizens of different states.” 28 U.S.C.
§ 1332(a). If the amount in controversy does not exceed
$75, 000, this court does not have subject matter
jurisdiction and must remand.
case is about an automobile accident in which, Garcia
alleges, she “suffered serious permanent injuries,
including the complete loss of all four fingers on her left
hand, ” and the “loss of use of her left
hand.” (ECF No. 1-1 at 6). The parties agree that
Garcia worked for the Clark County School District and was
covered under a group policy of accidental death and
dismemberment insurance that Standard issued to the school
district. (ECF No. 1 at 1). Garcia seeks benefits under the
policy for the loss of her fingers. Id. Standard
denied Garcia's claim, according to the complaint,
primarily due to a disagreement on the meaning of the
contract and whether her injury constituted a covered loss.
(ECF No. 1-1 at 7-8).
complaint alleges claims for (1) breach of contract, (2)
contractual breach of the implied covenant of good faith and
fair dealing, and (3) unfair trade practices. (ECF No. 1-1).
For each claim, Garcia alleged that Standard caused damages
in excess of $15, 000 as a result of Standard's conduct
alleged in that claim. Id. In the complaint's
prayer for relief, Garcia requests the following judgment:
1. For general damages sustained by Plaintiff in an amount in
excess of $15, 000.00;
2. For special damages sustained by Plaintiff in excess of
3. For punitive damages in an amount to be determined at
4. For reasonable attorney's fees and costs of suit;
5. For interest at the statutory rate; and
6. For any such other relief as the Court deems just and
(ECF No. 1-1 at 11).
Standard's petition for removal, Standard argues that
“[b]y alleging punitive damages, Garcia has placed a
great deal more in controversy than the jurisdictional
minimum.” (ECF No. 1 at 3). Standard listed many case
examples in which a jury award of punitive damages far