Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Home / Opinion Digests / Most Important Opinions / Tort/Negligence — Military Vehicles – Toxic Substances – Civil Practice – Diversity Jurisdiction

Tort/Negligence — Military Vehicles – Toxic Substances – Civil Practice – Diversity Jurisdiction

Fridia v. Lockheed Martin Corp. (Lawyers Weekly No. 14-02-0951, 5 pp.) (Terrence Boyle, J.) 5:14-cv-00297; E.D.N.C.

Holding: Plaintiff alleges that each defendant, both collectively and in the alternative, transported military vehicles under their exclusive custody and control from the Middle East to Fort Bragg; held exclusive control over those military vehicles that plaintiff worked on; knew about the dangerousness of the toxic substance and failed, or refused, to warn plaintiff about the danger; and then destroyed the evidence. Plaintiff has sufficiently stated tort claims against defendants.

Defendants’ motion to dismiss is denied. Plaintiff’s motion to remand to state court is also denied.

Twelve of the 14 defendants are subsidiaries of Lockheed Martin Corp. They removed this case from state to federal court.

Plaintiff contends that while the remaining defendants consented to removal, the only allegations concerning the citizenship of the other defendants come from the complaint in which plaintiff alleges that each of the defendants maintain a principal place of business and registered agent in North Carolina.

However, defendants have submitted an affidavit of Valerie Shea-Zabella, paralegal manager for the missiles and fire control business area of Lockheed. The affidavit shows that the CEO, CFO, Secretary, and Treasurer of Lockheed and the subsidiary defendants are not centered in North Carolina and that none of the significant corporate decisions and corporate policies that direct, control, and coordinate Lockheed or its subsidiary defendants’ activities occur in North Carolina.

This is sufficient to show that the nerve centers for these defendants are not located in North Carolina and is sufficient proof of diversity of citizenship. Accordingly the court finds that complete diversity of citizenship exists here and denies the motion to remand.

Motions denied.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *