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Egal v. Geico General Insurance Co.

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle

April 13, 2015

OSMAN EGAL, Plaintiff,
v.
GEICO GENERAL INSURANCE COMPANY, a foreign company, Defendant.

ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO REMAND

RICARDO S. MARTINEZ, District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

This matter comes before the Court on Plaintiff's Motion to Remand to State Court. Dkt. #14. Plaintiff argues that this Court lacks jurisdiction because the requisite amount in controversy for diversity jurisdiction cannot be shown by Defendant, and because Defendant's removal was procedurally deficient in that Defendant failed to comply with Local Rule 101. Id. Defendant argues that it has provided adequate evidence to demonstrate the requisite amount in controversy, and that it fully complied with the Court's Local Rules. Dkt. #16. For the reasons set forth below, the Court agrees with Defendant and DENIES Plaintiff's Motion to Remand.

II. BACKGROUND

On or about November 26, 2014, Plaintiff filed the instant personal injury/underinsured motorist action in King County Superior Court. Dkts. #1 at ¶ 1 and #1-2. In his Complaint, Plaintiff alleges claims for breach of good faith duty, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of various statutory duties, violation of Washington's Consumer Protection Act ("CPA"), negligence, estoppel, breach of contract, and violation of the Insurance Fair Conduct Act ("IFCA"), which arise from a motor vehicle accident for which he was not at fault and in which he suffered physical injuries. Dkt. #1-2. The face of the Complaint does not allege the total amount of damages sought. Rather, Plaintiff alleges that:

14.1 By virtue of breach of the insurance contract, defendant is liable in full for the amount of plaintiff's claims.
14.2 Defendant are liable for damages which directly and proximately result from breach of the implied duty of good faith and fair dealing owed to plaintiff.
14.3 Defendant is further liable to plaintiff for damages for infliction of emotional distress, harassment, embarrassment, and delay.
14.4 As a direct and proximate result of the wrongful conduct of defendant, plaintiff has lost the use of funds which should have been paid promptly as part of the claim process.
14.5 Plaintiff is further damaged in the amount of reasonable compensation he has paid and will pay to his attorney. Defendant compelled plaintiff to enter into litigation to recover amounts due under these policies.
14.6 Defendant is liable for reasonable attorney's fee of plaintiff, and for treble damage and increased damage awards pursuant to the Washington Consumer Protection Act.
14.7 Defendant is liable to plaintiff for damages for fraud.

Dkt. #1-2 at ¶ ¶ 14.1-14.7. By virtue of pleading a claim under IFCA, Plaintiff also seeks treble damages. Dkt. #1-2 ¶ 15.1(c).

On December 24, 2014, Defendant removed the action to this Court, asserting federal jurisdiction on the basis of diversity. Dkt. #1. In its Notice of Removal, Defendant asserts that Plaintiff, "in a pre-suit demand... alleged $40, 000 in medical specials and has demanded that GEICO pay him his $50, 000 ...


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