United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Richmond Division
A.E., et al., an infant, by and through Linda Everett, her mother and next friend, Plaintiffs,
ASHFORD GATEWAY TRS CORPORATION GROUP, INC. et al, Defendants.
Hannah Lauck District Judge.
matter comes before the Court on three motions: Defendant Cabling
Solutions of Rutherford County, LLC's ("Cabling
Solutions") Motion to Transfer Case ("Cabling
Solutions's Motion to Transfer"), (ECF No. 2);
Defendant Humphrey Rich Construction Group, Inc.'s
("Humphrey") Motion to Transfer Case
("Humphrey's Motion to Transfer"), (ECF No.
13); and Defendant Marriott Hotel Services, Inc.'s
("Marriott") Motion to Change Venue
("Marriott's Motion to Transfer"), (ECF No. 21)
(collectively, the "Motions to Transfer").
Plaintiffs A.E.and Linda Everett (collectively,
"Plaintiffs") did not respond to the Motions to
Transfer and the time to do so has expired.
the matter is ripe for disposition. The Court dispenses with
oral argument because the materials before it adequately
present the facts and legal contentions, and argument would
not aid the decisional process. The Court exercises
jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332. For the reasons
that follow, the Court will grant the Motions to Transfer.
Factual and Procedural Background
bring this personal injury action against
Defendants for damages A.E. sustained while attending
an event at a Marriott hotel, in Arlington, Virginia. (Compl.
¶¶ 12, 23-24, ECF No. 1-1.) On August 31, 2014,
A.E. "and her family were invitees and guests of the
[Marriott hotel] and attending a family reunion with her
grandparents which was held inside of the hotel's
ballroom." (Compl. ¶ 23, ECF No. 1-1.) Plaintiffs
allege that "[unexpectedly and without warning, a large
piece of a light fixture inside of the ballroom fell from the
ceiling directly above [A.E.], striking her in the
head." (Id. ¶ 24.) As a result, A.E.
"suffered severe injuries to her head, including a
depressed skull fracture, exposing brain matter."
(Id. ¶ 26.)
allege that, prior to this incident, Defendants "all
participated in the design, installation, and/or inspection
of the ballroom modifications" as part of a significant
renovation project. (Id. ¶ 20.) Plaintiffs aver
that "the design, installation[, ] and inspection of the
lighting fixtures [were] negligent and in disregard for the
safety of [A.E.]." (Id. ¶ 21.) Plaintiffs
Defendants knew that there would be large gatherings of
people congregating under these lighting fixtures[, ]
creating a heightened duty to make sure that the renovations
were performed properly and resulted in a safe environment.
Despite this heightened duty, Defendants proceeded with a
negligent decision to hang large, heavy blocks of Plexiglas
held up by minimal fasteners, with no framework or other
supporting structure Defendants had complete control over
this process from design, through installation, inspections[J
(Id. ¶ 21.) Plaintiffs also claim that, two
days prior to the incident giving rise to the injuries,
Cabling Solutions removed "the lenses in the
ballroom's lighting in order to gain access to work above
the ceiling, negligently reinstalling them without properly
securing them." (Id. ¶ 22.)
alleges various damages, including: serious and severe bodily
injuries, ongoing physical and mental impairment, impairment
on her enjoyment of life, loss of future earnings and earning
capacity, and ongoing expenses related to treating her
injuries and educational tutoring. Linda Everett, as
A.E.'s mother and legal guardian, "has been caused
to lose the services of her daughter and has been compelled
to expend large sums of money for medical and hospital
services." (Compl. ¶ 29.) Plaintiffs seek $ 15,
000, 000, plus interest and costs, and other relief that the
Court may deem appropriate.
filed the Complaint in the Circuit Court of the City of
Richmond (the "Richmond Circuit Court"). Cabling
Solutions waived service of process and filed an Answer on
September 21, 2018. (Notice Removal ¶ 2, ECF No. 1.) On
September 24, 2018, before any other defendant was served,
Cabling Solutions removed the case to this Court pursuant to
28 U.S.C. §§ 1441 and 1332. On September 28, 2018,
Cabling Solutions filed Cabling Solutions's Motion to
Transfer. Plaintiffs did not respond and the time to do so
October 19, 2018, Plaintiffs filed the Motion to Remand.
Cabling Solutions and Ashford opposed the Motion to Remand.
(ECF Nos. 25, 34.) Plaintiffs replied to Cabling
Solutions's opposition, but did not reply to
October 26, 2018, Humphrey Rich Construction Group, Inc.
filed Humphrey's Motion to Transfer, to which Plaintiffs
did not respond. On October 29, 2018, Marriott filed