United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Norfolk Division
A.E.A., an infant, by Konstantinos N. Angelopoulos, her natural parent and next friend, Plaintiff,
VOLVO PENTA OF THE AMERICAS, LLC, GRADY-WHITE BOATS, INC., NORFOLK MARINE COMPANY, RICHARD S. HARRIS, AND JOHN DOES 1-50, Defendants
For A.E.A., an infant, by Konstantinos N. Angelopoulos, her natural parent and next friend, Plaintiff: Edward Wallace Wolcott, Jr., LEAD ATTORNEY, Wolcott Rivers Gates, Virginia Beach, VA; Adam Michael Carroll, Wolcott Rivers Gates P. C., Virginia Beach, VA; Deborah C. Waters, Waters Law Firm, P.C., Norfolk, VA.
For Volvo Penta Of The Americas, LLC, Defendant: Brian Nelson Casey, James Edward Brydges, Jr., LEAD ATTORNEYS, Taylor & Walker PC, Norfolk, VA; Deborah Stephney Marie Verley, Jay Donald O'Sullivan, PRO HAC VICE, Quintairos Prieto Wood & Boyer P. A., Miami, FL.
For Grady-White Boats, Inc., Defendant: James L. Chapman, IV, LEAD ATTORNEY, Cyrus Wiley Grandy, Crenshaw Ware & Martin PLC, Norfolk, VA.
For Norfolk Marine Company, Defendant: Melissa Lauren Bailey, Thomas Wayne Williams, LEAD ATTORNEYS, Williams Deloatche PC, Chesapeake, VA.
For Richard S. Harris, Defendant: Patrick Michael Brogan, LEAD ATTORNEY, Davey & Brogan PC, Norfolk, VA.
For City Of Virginia Beach, Interested Party: Michael Angelo Beverly, LEAD ATTORNEY, City of Virgina Beach, City Attorney's Office, Virginia Beach, VA.
OPINION AND ORDER
Robert G. Doumar, Senior United States District Judge.
This matter is before the Court on Plaintiff A.E.A's negligence, product liability, and breach of warranty claims against Defendants Volvo Penta of the Americas (" Volvo Penta" ), LLC, Grady-White Boats, Inc. (" Grady White" ), Norfolk Marine Company (" Norfolk Marine" ), Richard Harris, and John Does 1-50, arising from injuries Plaintiff sustained during a recreational boating accident off the coast of Virginia Beach, Virginia. Initially, Plaintiff's parent brought a suit on her behalf in the Circuit Court of the City of Norfolk, Virginia, in which Plaintiff alleged " maritime and state law causes of action." Am. Compl. ¶ 1. Plaintiff claimed that jurisdiction was valid " pursuant to the general maritime jurisdiction of the United States of America, the Savings to Suitors Clause (28 U.S.C. § 1333) and the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia." Id. ¶ 2,
After Volvo Penta tiled a Notice of Removal to remove the matter to federal court, Plaintiff filed a Motion to Remand. ECF No. 18. Subsequently, Volvo Penta filed a Motion for Leave to File Amended Notice of Removal (" Motion for Leave to Amend Notice" ). ECF No. 28. On December 15, 2014, the parties appeared before the Court and argued their respective positions on both motions. At that hearing, the Court took the matter under advisement. For the reasons set forth below, the Court hereby DENIES Volvo Penta's Motion for Leave to File Amended Notice of Removal, ECF No. 28; GRANTS Plaintiff's Motion to Remand, ECF No. 18; and REMANDS this action to the Circuit
Court for the City of Norfolk, Virginia, for further proceedings in the case styled there as [REDACT] an infant, by Konstantinos N. Angelopoulos, her natural parent and next friend v. Volvo Penta of the Americas, LLC, et al., Civil No. CL14-4909.
I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
On about June 30, 2011, Plaintiff, who was about thirteen years old at the time, was tubing with her friends in the Chesapeake Bay off of Virginia Beach. Am. Compl. ¶ 13. Plaintiff and her friends were being towed by a motor boat owned and operated by Richard Harris. Id. ¶ ¶ 10-13. During tubing, as is prone to occur, Plaintiff and her friends fell off of the tube. Id. ¶ 14. Upon noticing, Harris circled his boat around to pick up the children. Id. ¶ 14. When Harris approached Plaintiff and her friends, Harris shifted the boat into neutral to assure the children would be safe from the propellers while boarding the boat. Id. Although Plaintiff's friends boarded the boat without incident, when Plaintiff was boarding the boat the propeller activated and ensnared Plaintiff's leg. Id. ¶ ¶ 17-18. As a result, Plaintiff was pulled into the water and suffered serious and permanent injuries.
Subsequently, Plaintiff's parent brought a suit on her behalf in the Circuit Court of the City of Norfolk, Virginia against Harris, Volvo Penta, Grady-White, Norfolk Marine, and John Does 1-50. On July 11, 2014, Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint. On August 20, 2014, Volvo Penta filed a Notice of Removal in this Court. ECF No. 1. In its Notice, Volvo Penta relied on maritime jurisdiction, as well as the 2011 amendment to 28 U.S.C. § 1441, as grounds for removal.
On September 19, 2014, Plaintiff filed a Motion to Remand seeking to remand the case to state court. ECF No. 18. On October 28, 2014, Volvo Penta filed a Motion
for Leave to Amend Notice. ECF No. 28. Both motions are presently before the Court.
Although filed after the Motion to Remand, the Court will first consider Volvo Penta's Motion for Leave to Amend Notice, as the Court's ruling on this Motion will directly affect what jurisdictional statements in the Notice of ...