United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Roanoke Division
STEVEN R. DELK, Plaintiff,
BRIAN MORAN, et al., Defendants.
K. MOON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
R. Delk, also known as Ja-Quitha “Earth”
Camellia, a Virginia inmate proceeding pro se, filed
this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983
alleging various violations of his constitutional rights
while housed at the Red Onion State Prison
(“ROSP”). This memorandum opinion will address
Delk's motion for entry of default judgment, (dkt. 118),
and the motions to dismiss by Safariland, LLC
(“Defendant” or “Safariland”), (dkts.
144, 149). For the reasons that follow, I will dismiss
Safariland as a defendant and deny the pending motions as
12, 2015, ROSP correctional officers used chemical spray
against Delk. Delk later filed this lawsuit, asserting many
claims, including two product liability claims against
Federal Products Liability Claims
raises federal products liability claims directly under the
Consumer Products Safety Act (“CPSA”). Compl.
¶ 139. However, a private cause of action is only
allowed under the CPSA if a plaintiff alleges that an injury
was caused by a defendant's knowing violation of a
consumer product safety rule or other order issued by the
Consumer Product Safety Commission. See 15 U.S.C.
§§ 2053, 2072(a). To state such a claim, Delk must
first identify a consumer product safety rule or order issued
by the Commission because the “CPSA provides no express
private right of action for a consumer absent a violation of
a ‘consumer product safety rule,' as that term is
defined by the Act.” Butcher v. Robertshaw Controls
Co., 550 F.Supp. 692, 694 (D. Md. 1981). Plaintiff has
not identified any consumer product safety rule violation by
Safariland. Therefore, he fails to state a claim under the
CPSA, and I will dismiss the federal claims against
Safariland. See 28 U.S.C. 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii)
(“[T]he court shall dismiss the case at any time if the
court determines that the action or appeal fails to state a
claim on which relief may be granted.”).
determined that Delk fails to state a federal claim against
Safariland. However, I could exercise supplemental
jurisdiction over his state law claims.
district courts have original jurisdiction, they shall
exercise supplemental jurisdiction over related claims. 28
U.S.C. § 1367. However, the district courts may decline
to exercise supplemental jurisdiction if the “district
court has dismissed all claims over which it has original
jurisdiction.” 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c)(3); see
Shanaghan v. Cahill, 58 F.3d 106, 110 (4th Cir. 1995)
(Trial courts have “wide latitude in determining
whether or not to retain jurisdiction over state law claims
when all federal claims [against a defendant] have been
extinguished.”). “Among the factors that inform
this discretionary determination are convenience and fairness
to the parties, the existence of any underlying issues of
federal policy, comity, and considerations of judicial
economy.” Id. “Generally, when the
federal claim is dismissed before trial, the balance of
factors to be considered in determining whether to exercise
supplemental jurisdiction-judicial economy, federal policy,
and comity-point toward declining jurisdiction over the
remaining state law claims.” Clark v. Merck &
Co., Inc., No. 2:06-00589, 2006 WL 2572080, at *2 (S.D.
W.V. Sept. 5, 2006) (citing United Mine Workers of Am. v.
Gibbs, 383 U.S. 715, 726 (1966)).
the court's review, these factors weigh in favor of
dismissal of Delk's state law claims against Safariland.
Accordingly, I decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction
over Plaintiff's state law products liability claims and
dismiss them without prejudice. See Price v. Milmar Food
Group, L.L.C., No. 17-13011, 2018 WL 4346688, at *4
(E.D. Mich. July 16, 2018) (declining to exercise
supplemental jurisdiction over state products liability claim
when plaintiff failed to state a federal claim against
defendant); Walker v. Schriro, No. 11 Civ. 9299,
2013 WL 1234930, at *16 (S.D.N.Y. March 26, 2013) (holding
same, citing “the markedly distinct nature of the state
law [products liability] claims as compared to
Plaintiff's [remaining] federal [constitutional]
claims”); Keeler v. Chang, No. 4:15CV19, 2015
WL 10690451, at *4 (E.D. Va. Aug. 28, 2015) (declining to
exercise jurisdiction over state law claims where federal
claims against that defendant had been dismissed); Lucas
v. Brake, No. 5:12CV735, 2013 WL 3197073, at *5 (E.D.
N.C. June 21, 2013) (dismissing federal law claims against a
defendant, but exercising supplemental jurisdiction over the
state law claims against that defendant because the state
law claims formed part of the same case or
controversy as pending federal claims against other
I will dismiss Defendant Safariland, LLC from this action
without prejudice. I will deny as moot Delk's motion for
default judgment, (dkt. 118), and Safariland's motions to
dismiss, (dkts. 144, 149).
appropriate order will be entered this day.
 No. original jurisdiction for the
state law claims exists. First, the remaining claims do not
arise under the Constitution or federal law-they regard
matters of state law. See 28 U.S.C. § 1331
(establishing federal question jurisdiction). Second, Delk
has not established diversity jurisdiction. Diversity
Jurisdiction exists when the matter in controversy exceeds
$75, 000 and the parties are completely diverse. 28 U.S.C.
§ 1331(a). (1) Plaintiff has not sought more than $75,
000 from Safariland as relief, (2) Delk cannot aggregate
damages to reach the $75, 000 threshold because
Safariland's liability to Delk is separate and distinct
from the other defendants, and (3) Plaintiff failed to list
the citizenship of all members of the limited liability
company. See Compl. 32-33 (requesting $20, 000 in
compensatory damages and $50, 000 in punitive damages against
Safariland (then listed as John Doe)); Morrison v.
Allstate Indem. Co., 228 F.3d 1255, 1263 n.7 (11th Cir.
2000) (“Claims against multiple defendants can only be
aggregated when the defendants are jointly liable to the
plaintiff.”); Gen. Tech. Applications, Inc. v. Exro
Ltda, 388 F.3d 114, 120 (4th Cir. 2004) (limited
liability companies are assigned the citizenship of its
members); VA C 12266 Jefferson, ...