Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Medish v. The Johns Hopkins Health System Corp.

United States District Court, D. Maryland

September 19, 2017

VADIM A. MEDISH, et al. Plaintiffs,
v.
THE JOHNS HOPKINS HEALTH SYSTEM CORPORATION, et al. Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM

          James K. Bredar United States District Judge

         Plaintiffs Vadim A. Medish, Mark C. Medish and Sue Edwards brought this suit against Defendants Johns Hopkins Health System Corporation, Johns Hopkins Hospital, and Subash Chandra, M.D., in the Circuit Court for the City of Baltimore on May 23, 2017. (Compl., ECF No. 2.) Defendant Dr. Chandra removed the case to this Court two days later, on the basis of diversity of citizenship (Notice of Filing Removal, ECF No. 3), and he was voluntarily dismissed by Plaintiffs on June 26, 2017. Before the Court is Plaintiffs' Motion to Remand (ECF No. 5) and Defendants Motion for Leave to File a Surreply (ECF No. 16). No hearing is necessary to resolve the matter. See Local Rule 105.6. For the reasons set forth in this Memorandum, by accompanying, Defendants' Motion for Leave to File a Surreply will be GRANTED and Plaintiffs' Motion to Remand will be GRANTED.

         I. Procedural Background [1]

         Plaintiff Vadim Medish suffered a series of medical problems over the course of several months in early 2013, including a cardiac arrest that resulted in “debilitating brain damage.” (Compl. ¶¶ 20-48, ECF No. 2.) For roughly three months Vadim Medish was treated at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. (See Compl. ¶¶ 22, 48.) Nearly four years later, on May 23, 2017, Vadim Medish and his parents brought suit against the Johns Hopkins Health System Corporation and the Johns Hopkins Hospital (collectively “JHH Defendants), and one of Vadim Medish's treating physicians, Dr. Subash Chandra, alleging Medical Negligence. (Compl. ¶¶ 7-19, 49; Mem. Mot. Remand 2, ECF No. 5-1.) Two days later, on the same day that the Clerk of the Baltimore City Circuit Court issued Plaintiffs' summonses, and therefore before the Plaintiff had any reasonable opportunity to serve any Defendant, Defendant Dr. Chandra removed the case to this federal court. (Mem. Mot. Remand 2; Notice of Removal, ECF No. 3.). For the purpose of determining diversity jurisdiction, the citizenship of the parties at the time of removal was as follows: Plaintiffs were citizens of the District of Columbia, JHH Defendants were citizens of Maryland, and Dr. Chandra was a citizen of both India and Iowa. (Compl. ¶¶ 7-9, 11; Aff. of Def. Subash Chandra, M.D., ECF No. 8-1.) In other words, out-of-state Plaintiffs sued both in-state Defendants and an out-of-state Defendant. Prior to any party being served, the out-of-state Defendant removed.

         On June 2, 2017, eight days after Defendant Dr. Chandra removed, Plaintiffs filed a motion to remand (ECF No. 5), contending that the “forum defendant” rule prohibited Dr. Chandra from removing the case. (See Mem. Mot. Remand 3.) Defendant Dr. Chandra filed a response in opposition to that motion on June 13 (ECF No. 8), and roughly two weeks later the Plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed Defendant Dr. Chandra (ECF No. 11), leaving only forum defendants in the case. A few days later, on June 27, JHH Defendants first made their voices heard by filing a response in opposition to the Plaintiffs' motion to remand (ECF No. 13), in which they simply adopted Dr. Chandra's argument. Plaintiffs replied that same day, reiterating that the forum defendant rule barred Dr. Chandra's removal of the case, but also raising for the first time the argument that remand was proper because Dr. Chandra had been dismissed as a party, thus leaving the JHH Defendants, all citizens of the forum state, as the sole Defendants in the case. (Rep. Mot. Remand, ECF No. 14.) Before the Court are Plaintiffs' Motion to Remand (ECF No. 5) and Defendants' Motion for Leave to File a Surreply (ECF No. 16).

         II. Legal Standard

         An action brought in a state court may be removed only if the district court would have had original jurisdiction over the action. See 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a). “The burden of establishing federal jurisdiction is placed upon the party seeking removal.” Mulcahey v. Columbia Organic Chems. Co., 29 F.3d 148, 151 (4th Cir. 1994). Federal courts “must strictly construe removal jurisdiction, ” because it “raises significant federalism concerns.” Id. Congress has the “clear intention to restrict removal and to resolve all doubts about the propriety of removal in favor of retained state court jurisdiction.” Marshall v. Manville Sales Corp., 6 F.3d 229, 232 (4th Cir. 1993).

         III. Analysis

         a. Motion for Leave to File Surreply

         “Surreplies are highly disfavored in this District, ” and may only be filed with the Court's permission. Roach v. Navient Solutions, Inc., 165 F.Supp.3d 343, 351 (D. Md. 2015) (citing Local Rule 105.2(a)). Surreplies, however, “may be permitted when the moving party would be unable to contest matters presented to the court for the first time in the opposing party's reply.” Khoury v. Meserve, 268 F.Supp.2d 600, 605 (D. Md. 2003).

         Contrary to the Plaintiffs' contention that they “merely responded to Defendants' joint opposition” in their reply (Pls. Opp'n to Def.'s Mot. for Leave to File Surreply 4, ECF No. 17), Plaintiffs in fact raised, for the first time, the argument that this case should be remanded because only forum defendants remain. (See Reply Pls. Mot. Remand 2.) Therefore, because Defendants have not had an opportunity to address this argument, the Court will GRANT Defendants' Motion for Leave to File a Surreply. The Defendants attached their proposed surreply to their motion (ECF No. 16-1), and the Court has read it in full and considered the arguments contained therein. The Clerk will be directed to docket the surreply.

         b. Motion to Remand

         Plaintiffs make two primary arguments in support of their motion to remand. Plaintiffs contend that the case should be remanded to state court because the only remaining Defendants are citizens of Maryland, the forum state. Plaintiffs also contend that removal was initially improper because removal in a case involving any forum state defendants violates the forum defendant rule. The Court will address each argument in turn.

         i. Dismissal of ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.