United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Richmond Division
E. Hudson, United States District Judge
MATTER is before the Court on its own initiative. Plaintiff
Progressive Northern Insurance, Company ("Plaintiff)
filed a Complaint (ECF No. 1) on September 14, 2017, seeking
a declaratory judgment that it has no obligation to provide
insurance coverage to Defendant Milton Aleman and/ or
Defendant RA Transport.
reviewing the Complaint, the Court had concerns that a facial
reading of the Complaint may not support subject matter
jurisdiction and ordered supplemental briefing from Plaintiff
on that issue. (ECF No. 11.) On November 3, 2017, Plaintiff
filed a Memorandum Regarding Subject Matter Jurisdiction
("Memorandum") that purports to address the
concerns identified by the Court. (ECF No. 12.) The
Memorandum requested that, in the event that subject matter
jurisdiction is found to be lacking, the Court grant
Plaintiff leave to file an amended complaint.
November 13, 2017, Plaintiff filed a Motion to Withdraw
Request for Entry of Default as to GEICO Insurance Company
(ECF No. 13) and a Motion to Amend/ Correct Named Defendant
(ECF No. 14), both stemming from Plaintiff incorrectly naming
GEICO Insurance Company rather than GEICO Indemnity Company
in its Complaint.
reasons stated herein, the Court finds that it lacks
subject-matter jurisdiction and must dismiss Plaintiffs
Complaint without prejudice. The Court will grant Plaintiffs
request for leave to file amended complaint. Additionally,
the Court will grant Plaintiffs two pending motions.
issued a Commercial Auto Insurance Policy
("Policy"), effective February 15, 2016 to February
15, 2017, to Defendant RA Transport LLC, which provided both
bodily injury and property damage liability coverage. (Compl.
¶ 16.) The Policy provides: "We will pay all sums
an "insured" must legally pay as
damages because of "bodily injury"
or "property damage" to which this
insurance applies, caused by an
"accident" and resulting from the
ownership, maintenance or use of a covered
"auto." (Id. ¶ 18.)
Further, the Policy states:
"We will have no duty to provide
coverage under this policy unless there has been full
compliance with the following duties ... you
and any other involved "insured"
must. .. [c]ooperate with us in the
investigation, settlement or defense of the claim or
"insured" will be deemed not to
have cooperated with us only if his or her
failure or refusal to do so harms our defense of an action
12, 2016, Defendant William Seifert ("Seifert") was
injured when his motorcycle collided with a 2015 Volvo
Tractor driven by Defendant Milton Aleman (the
"Accident"). (Id. ¶ 12.) The Police
Report for the Accident identifies the 2015 Volvo Tractor as
being owned by Defendant GB & Sons Logistics, LLC, and
suggests that Defendant Milton Aleman was without the right
of way at the time of the Accident. (Id.
¶¶ 12, 14.) No lawsuit has been filed by Defendant
Seifert in connection with the Accident. (Id. ¶
15, 2016, Plaintiff received notice of the Accident.
(Id. ¶ 19.) Subsequently, Plaintiff began an
investigation to determine whether Defendant Milton Aleman,
Defendant RA Transport LLC, Defendant Ramon Aleman, Defendant
Grover Molina ("Molina"), and/ or Defendant GB
& Sons LLC qualify as an "insured" within the
definition provide by the Policy. (Id. ¶ 20.)
of this investigation, Plaintiff sought to question Defendant
Ramon Aleman, as the representative of Defendant RA Transport
LLC, Defendant Milton Aleman, and Defendant Molina, as the
representative of Defendant GB & Sons LLC, under oath.
(Id. ¶ 21.) Despite utilizing a private
investigator, Plaintiff has not been able to locate Defendant
Ramon Aleman or Defendant Milton Aleman. (Id. ¶
22.) While Defendant Molina did appear for questioning, he
has not provided documents that Plaintiff requested, which
Defendant Molina claimed existed during his questioning.
seeks a declaratory judgment that it has no duty to provide
insurance coverage to Defendant RA Transport and/ or
Defendant Milton Aleman because of the failure to cooperate
with Plaintiffs investigation. (Id. ¶¶
25-26.) The Complaint does not identify that an insurance
claim or lawsuit has been filed, outside of the present
action, in relation to the Accident.