Porter Scott Wins Opposition to Motion to Remand in Sham Defendant Case

Shareholder David Melton and Senior Associate CJ Ninke successfully opposed a Motion to Remand, prevailing on removing a case from Sacramento County Superior Court to the Eastern District of California, on the basis that the plaintiff had named a non-diverse defendant as a sham defendant for the sole purpose of destroying diversity jurisdiction and divesting the federal court of diversity jurisdiction.  The plaintiff filed a negligence and product liability action in Sacramento County Superior Court against a large retailer with its corporate headquarters and principal place of business out of state.  In addition to naming the retailer as a defendant, the plaintiff also named a district manager of the retailer defendant, domiciled in the same state as the plaintiff, as an individual defendant.  The Court agreed that the inclusion of the district manager as a defendant in the case was a sham due to lack of a causal connection between any act or omission on the part of the district manager and the plaintiff’s alleged injuries.