United States District Court, D. Maryland
VADIM A. MEDISH, et al. Plaintiffs,
THE JOHNS HOPKINS HEALTH SYSTEM CORPORATION, et al. Defendants.
K. Bredar United States District Judge
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.
Procedural Background 
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.
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.
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).
Motion for Leave to File Surreply
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).
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.
Motion to Remand
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
Dismissal of ...