United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Harrisonburg Division
ELIZABETH K. DILLON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
June 11, 2019 hearing, the court heard argument on a number
of pending motions, ruled on some of them, and took some of
them under advisement. In this opinion, the court addresses
two of the motions that it took under advisement: defendant
Red Six LLC's motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction
(Dkt. No. 129) and defendant Scott Crino's motion to
dismiss for lack of jurisdiction (Dkt. No.
131). These two defendants were added by an
amended complaint; previously, the only defendant had been
Brandon Sasnett. Both motions are premised on the assertion
that Red Six's addition to the case destroys the
court's diversity jurisdiction.
Six, which is a limited liability company, has the
citizenship of all of its members. Cent. W.Va. Energy Co.
v. Mountain State Carbon, LLC, 636 F.3d 101, 103 (4th
Cir. 2011). Plaintiff TechINT Solutions Group, LLC (TechINT)
conceded at the hearing that one of Red Six's members,
Conrad A. Dreby, is a Virginia citizen, thus making Red Six a
citizen of Virginia, in addition to other states. Because
TechINT also is a Virginia citizen, Red Six's presence in
the case would destroy complete diversity, the only proffered
basis for this court's subject-matter jurisdiction.
on this, Red Six argues that the entire case should be
dismissed for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction. In
particular, it contends that it is an indispensable party and
that dismissal of the case is required. Red Six's counsel
also suggested at the hearing that, alternatively, the court
could dismiss Red Six and Crino and leave Sasnett as
a defendant, although counsel admitted that he had no cases
stating that the court had authority to dismiss a diverse
party in addition to the nondiverse one.
part, TechINT contends that Red Six is not an indispensable
party. It asserts that the court should exercise its
discretion under Rule 21 of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure and simply drop Red Six from the case and allow the
remaining claims to go forward against Sasnett and Crino,
both of whom are diverse from TechINT. For the reasons
discussed herein, the court agrees with TechINT. Thus, it
will grant the motions to dismiss insofar as they seek the
dismissal without prejudice of Red Six. Crino will remain as
broad terms (and as set forth in the allegations of the
Amended Complaint), this case involves claims by an employer,
TechINT, against its former employee, Sasnett, who left its
employ and was immediately thereafter employed by Red Six, a
customer of TechINT's. Crino is Red Six's CEO and the
person who communicated with Sasnett regarding his hiring.
Shortly after Sasnett's hiring by Red Six, TechINT
advised Crino that Sasnett had a Services Agreement that
barred him, for a term of two years after his employment with
TechINT ended, from providing the same services TechINT
provided to its actual clients and certain prospective
clients and also barred him from soliciting TechINT
employees. Even after Crino learned of that agreement and
received a copy of it, Red Six continued to employ Sasnett.
TechINT also argues that Red Six immediately cancelled its
own purchase order with TechINT and that Red Six and Sasnett
began doing work for some of TechINT's clients or
claims in the complaint are:
Count I: a breach of contract claim for breach of the
Services Agreement (against Sasnett only);
Count II: tortious interference with contract and business
expectancies (against all defendants);
Count III: conversion (against Sasnett only);
Count IV: conspiracy (against all defendants);
Count V: breach of fiduciary duty and aiding and abetting
breach of fiduciary duty (against all defendants); and
Count VI: injunctive relief enforcing the terms of
Sasnett's Services Agreement and ordering all defendants
to “cease any ...