United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Northern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
SHIRLEY PADMORE MENSAH, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
case is before the Court on Plaintiffs' Motion to Remand.
(Doc. 13). The motion has been fully briefed. All parties who
have been served have consented to the jurisdiction of the
undersigned United States Magistrate Judge pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 636(c). The motion has been fully briefed and is
ready for ruling. For the reasons stated below, the Court
will grant Plaintiffs' motion and remand the case to the
Circuit Court of Adair County, Missouri.
around May 3, 2019 Plaintiffs Joseph and Laura Shoop filed a
Petition for Damages in the Circuit Court of Adair County,
Missouri. The Petition names two defendants: Arkema, Inc.,
and Randal Ray Forquer II. Plaintiffs allege that Plaintiff
Joseph Shoop and Laura Shoop are citizens of Missouri; that
Defendant Arkema, Inc. is a Pennsylvania corporation with its
principal place of business and headquarters in Pennsylvania,
and that Defendant Forquer is a citizen of Missouri.
their Petition, Plaintiffs allege the following. Plaintiff
Joseph Shoop is certified in HVAC and refrigerant removal by
the United States Environmental Protection Agency. On or
about August 27, 2018, Defendant Forquer invited Plaintiff
Joseph Shoop onto the property where he resided to exchange
the refrigerant in an outdoor air conditioning unit (the
“Subject Unit.”) After Plaintiff Joseph Shoop
connected the Subject Unit to a refrigerant cylinder (the
“Subject Cylinder”), the Subject Cylinder
exploded, causing serious injuries to Mr. Shoop.
assert claims of negligence, strict liability, and loss of
consortium against Arkema, Inc., based on Arkema's
design, testing, manufacturing, and/or sale of the Subject
Cylinder. Plaintiffs also assert claims of negligence and
loss of consortium against Defendant Forquer. In their
negligence claim against Mr. Forquer, Plaintiffs state:
37. Plaintiff Joseph Shoop was invited by Defendant Forquer
onto the Subject Property with his consent to exchange
refrigerant from the Subject Unit on the property.
38. The Subject Unit posed an unreasonable risk of harm to
entrants upon the property and those exchanging the
refrigerant in it, including Plaintiff.
39. Defendant Forquer failed to warn Plaintiff Joseph Shoop
of the dangerous [sic] of the refrigerant that the Subject
Unit was filled with.
40. At all times mentioned, Defendant Forquer had the duty to
exercise reasonable care to protect Plaintiff Joseph Shoop
against both known dangers and those that would be revealed
41. Defendant Forquer through the exercise of ordinary care
should have known that the Subject Unit posed a dangerous
condition on the Subject Property.
42. Defendant Forquer failed to use ordinary care to warn of
the dangerous condition on the Subject Property.
43. Defendant Forquer knew or should have known that
Plaintiff Joseph Shoop would not discover such condition or
realize the risk of harm.
44. As a result of Defendant Forquer's failure to warn of
the dangerous condition, the Subject Cylinder exploded after
it was connected to the Subject Unit, throwing Plaintiff
Joseph Shoop and resulting in serious and permanent injuries
to Plaintiff, including . . .
45. As a direct result of the dangerous condition of the
Subject Unit, Plaintiff Joseph Shoop sustained the following
damages: . . . .
Pet'n for Damages, Doc. 14-1.
12, 2019, Defendant Arkema, Inc. (“Arkema”
removed this case to federal court on the basis of complete
diversity of citizenship between the parties pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1332(a). In the Notice of Removal, Arkema
alleged that Plaintiffs are Missouri citizens, that Defendant
Arkema is a Pennsylvania citizen, and that although Defendant
Forquer is a Missouri citizen, his citizenship should be
disregarded because he was fraudulently joined. Defendant
Arkema also alleged that the matter in controversy exceeds
$75, 000. In the alterative, Defendant Arkema argues that the
claims against Defendant Forquer have been misjoined and
should be severed pursuant to Rule 21 to preserve diversity
12, 2019, Plaintiffs filed the instant motion to remand the
case to state court, arguing that Defendant Arkema has not
met its burden of proving that Defendant Forquer was
fraudulently joined, and that therefore this Court lacks
subject matter jurisdiction over the action. Plaintiffs also
argue that because Defendant Forquer was not fraudulently
joined, the failure of Arkema to obtain his consent to
removal makes the Notice of Removal defective and
necessitates remand. Plaintiffs also oppose Defendant
Arkema's request to sever the claims against Defendant