Thank You For Submiting Feedback!
United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
June 10, 2019, Filed
[*291] ANDREW S. OLDHAM, Circuit Judge:
We must decide whether the district court erred by refusing to remand this case to state court. It did not. Next, we must decide whether the district court erred by granting summary judgment to the defendant. It did.
On December 29, 2015, Jeffery [**2] Hoyt hit a patch of ice while driving on FM 2264 in Wise County, Texas. Jeffery slid off the road. His car landed upside down in an adjacent body of water. Tragically, Jeffery drowned. Less than an hour later, a second driver hit the same patch of ice. The second driver likewise slid off the road. And the second driver landed directly on top of Jeffery's submerged vehicle. That apparently saved the second driver from drowning. First responders rescued him and, in the process, discovered Jeffery's vehicle and body.
On September 20, 2016, members of Jeffery's family ("the Hoyts") filed suit in Texas state court. They sued C.E.N. Concrete Construction Co., Storm Water Management, Inc., and the Lane Construction Corporation. The Hoyts, C.E.N., and Storm are citizens of Texas. Lane is not. The Hoyts contended all three companies had performed construction work on FM 2264 and caused ice to form at the crash site. The defendants moved for summary judgment. The state district court granted C.E.N.'s motion and entered a "take nothing" judgment in its favor.
The Hoyts and Storm engaged in settlement discussions. They never reached [*292] agreement. Yet on September 22, 2017—one year and two days after [**3] the suit began—the Hoyts voluntarily dismissed their claims against Storm. The Hoyts received no compensation from Storm.
Five days later, Lane removed the case to federal court on the theory that it now fit within federal diversity jurisdiction. See 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a)(1); Lincoln Prop. Co. v. Roche, 546 U.S. 81, 89, 126 S. Ct. 606, 163 L. Ed. 2d 415 (2005) (requiring "complete diversity"). The next day, the Hoyts filed an emergency motion to remand. They argued Lane's notice of removal was untimely. The federal district court denied that motion. In a second motion to remand filed about a month later, the Hoyts argued the voluntary-involuntary rule prohibited removal because C.E.N. had been dismissed against their wishes. The district court denied that motion too.
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
927 F.3d 287 *; 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 17299 **; 2019 WL 2417388
LINDSEY HOYT, Individually, and Independently as Administrator of the Estate of Jeffery Hoyt and as Next Friend of Joel Hoyt, Evan Hoyt, and Katie Hoyt; PATRICK HOYT, Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. THE LANE CONSTRUCTION CORPORATION, Defendant-Appellee.
Subsequent History: Revised As, August 23, 2019
Prior History: [**1] Appeals from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas.
Hoyt v. Lane Constr. Corp., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19872 (N.D. Tex., Feb. 7, 2018)Hoyt v. Lane Constr. Corp., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165755 (N.D. Tex., Oct. 5, 2017)
district court, state court, removal, joined, voluntary-involuntary, non-diverse, summary judgment, fraudulently, improper joinder, bad faith, summary judgment motion, bad-faith, patch, diversity jurisdiction, federal court, judge-made, one-year, grant of summary judgment, grant summary judgment, second driver, diversity, joinder, parties, notice, vacate, cases, site
Civil Procedure, Removal, Procedural Matters, Time Limitations, Governments, Legislation, Statute of Limitations, Postremoval Remands, Appellate Review, Appeals, Standards of Review, Clearly Erroneous Review, De Novo Review, Fraudulent Joinder, Interpretation, Constitutional Law, Congressional Duties & Powers, Lower Federal Courts, Preliminary Considerations, Procedural Matters, Nonremovable Actions, Notice of Removal, Defenses, Demurrers & Objections, Motions to Dismiss, Failure to State Claim, Courts, Judicial Precedent, Removal, Summary Judgment Review, Standards of Review, Torts, General Premises Liability, Dangerous Conditions, Natural Conditions, Evidence, Inferences & Presumptions, Inferences, Known Dangers, Types of Evidence, Summary Judgment, Entitlement as Matter of Law, Genuine Disputes, Materiality of Facts, Types of Evidence, Judicial Admissions, Legal Conclusions