United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
C. HAMILTON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the Court Plaintiff's Motion to Remand
(ECF No. 14) filed April 30, 2019. The motion is fully
briefed and ready for disposition.
manufactures and sells ocular nutritional supplements
marketed to athletes and nonathletes who want to improve
their vision. (ECF No. 4 ¶ 5). Defendant is a direct
competitor of Plaintiff and sells ocular nutritional
supplements. Id. On February 22, 2019, the Plaintiff
filed a lawsuit in the St. Louis County Circuit Court. (No.
19SL-CC00793). Plaintiff brings two counts seeking injunctive
relief against the Defendant. Count I alleges trademark
infringement pursuant to Missouri Common Law and seeks an
order enjoining future infringement. Count II alleges
misrepresentations and threatening statements on the part of
the Defendant and seeks injunctive relief. Neither account
appears to seek monetary damages.
April 8, 2019, the Defendant filed Notice of Removal. (ECF
No. 1). The Defendant argues that the value of the litigation
exceeds $75, 000.00. Id. Neither party contests that
parties are diverse. The only dispute is as to the amount in
controversy. On April 15, 2019, the Defendant filed a Motion
to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction. (ECF No. 7). On April
30, 2019, the Plaintiff filed a Motion to Remand this case to
State Court to the Circuit Court of St. Louis County. (ECF
28 U.S.C. § 1441(a), a defendant may remove to this
Court “any civil action brought in a State court of
which the district courts of the United States have original
jurisdiction.” Under 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a), district
courts have original jurisdiction over all civil actions
where the matter in controversy exceeds the value of
seventy-five thousand dollars ($75, 000.00), exclusive of
interests and costs, and involves a controversy between
citizens of different states.
is well settled that on a Motion to Remand, the burden of
establishing federal subject matter jurisdiction lies with
the removing party.'” Riffert v. Walgreen
Co., 4:07CV1912 JCH 2008 WL 495643, at *1 (E.D. Mo. Feb.
20, 2008) (quoting Rolwing v. NRM Corp., 1:05CV81
FRB 2005 WL 1828813, at *2 (E.D. Mo. Aug. 2, 2005)). Federal
courts strictly construe the amount in controversy
requirement to limit their diversity caseload and resolve all
doubts about federal jurisdiction in favor of remand.
Logan v. Value City Dept. Stores, LLC, 4:08CV19 CAS
2008 WL 1914168, at *1 (E.D. Mo. Apr. 28, 2008); In re
Business Men's Assur. Co. of America, 992 F.2d 181,
183 (8th Cir. 1993). Further, the Eighth Circuit
has held that where a complaint alleges no specific amount of
damages or an amount under the jurisdictional minimum, the
removing party, “must prove by a preponderance of the
evidence that the amount in controversy exceeds $75,
000.” In re Minnesota Mut. Life Ins. Co. Sales
Practices Litigation, 346 F.3d 830, 834 (8th
Cir. 2003) (citing Trimble v. Asarco, Inc., 232 F.3d
946, 959 (8th Cir. 2000)). The Eighth Circuit
further has held that, “[t]his amount-in-controversy
requirement is satisfied when a fact finder could legally
conclude, from the pleadings and the proof adduced to the
court before trial, that the damages that the plaintiff
suffered are greater than $75, 000.” Capitol
Indemnity Corp. v. 1405 Assoc., Inc., 340 F.3d 547, 549
(8th Cir.2003) (internal quotations and citation omitted).
See also Kopp v. Kopp, 280 F.3d 883, 885 (8th
Cir.2002) (“The jurisdictional fact in this case is not
whether the damages are greater than the requisite amount,
but whether a fact finder might legally conclude that they
are....”). “Once the removing party has
established by a preponderance of the evidence that the
jurisdictional minimum is satisfied, remand is only
appropriate if the plaintiff can establish to a legal
certainty that the claim is for less than the requisite
amount.” Bell v. Hershey Co., 557 F.3d 953,
956 (8th Cir. 2009) (citation omitted).
Eighth Circuit law, “ ‘[i]n actions seeking
declaratory or injunctive relief, it is well established that
the amount in controversy is measured by the value of the
object of the litigation.”' Kramper, 393 F.3d
at 833, quoting Hunt v. Wash. State Apple Adver.
Comm'n, 432 U.S. 333, 347 (1977).The Eight Circuit
has observed that the viewpoint of the plaintiff must test
that amount in controversy. Massachusetts State Pharm
Ass'n v. Fed. Prescription Serv., Inc., 431 F.2d
130, 132 n.1 (8th Cir. 1970). The amount in controversy in
cases involving trademark and tradename may be determined by
the value to the plaintiff of the good will associated with
the mark or name. See, Lane Bryant, Inc. v.
Glassman, 95 F.Supp. 320, 323 (E.D. Mo. 1951). This is
the case even if the Defendant will incur costs in excess of
$75, 000.00 if the requested relief is granted. See,
Price v. Cybertel Cellular Tel. Co., No. 4:06CV1640 FRB,
2007 WL 144586, at *3 (E.D. Mo. May 14, 2007).
valuing this case, the Defendant submitted that the amount in
controversy in this action exceeds the amount in controversy
(1) The Petition includes two causes of action: unfair
competition and injunctive relief which both seek injunctive
(2) Count I contends that Defendant interfered with
Plaintiff's “‘longstanding use, substantial
sales, significant advertising, and promotional
activities,' which resulted in ‘substantial
goodwill and reputation to [Plaintiff]'s business under
the  trademark is of enormous value'” (ECF No. 1
at 3), and that as a result of Defendant's use the
Defendant harmed Plaintiff's “ ‘valuable
goodwill' and ‘significant goodwill' and will
continue to cause substantial actual damages and irreparable
injury to [Plaintiff]. Id.
(3) Count II alleges that Defendant engaged in actions which
“has and will cause serious irreparable injury to
Plaintiff through the loss of ...