Randazzo v. Eagle-Picher Industries, Inc.
117 F.R.F. 557 (E.D. Pa. 1987)
Randazzo was injured by
exposure to asbestos. He sued some corporations (including Eagle-Pitcher)
in Federal Court.
Randazzo argued that the
Federal Court could hear the case based on diversity jurisdiction.
In his complaint, Randazzo
failed to list place of incorporation or principal place of business for
some of the corporation. Eagle Pitcher made a motion to dismiss the case
because the pleading was improper.
Randazzo's amended complaint
also failed to provide this information.
Federal Rule 8(a)(1) specifies the requirements for pleading the
grounds for Federal jurisdiction.
The Appellate Court dismissed
The Appellate Court found
that the Federal courts do not have subject matter jurisdiction based on diversity where the plaintiff fails to provide the place
of incorporation or principal place of business of the corporate
Basically, if the plaintiff
doesn't mention where the corporations are from, the court has no idea
whether or not they have diversity jurisdiction to hear the case or not. The court won't
bother trying to figure it out, they will simply dismiss the case and
tell the plaintiff to do a better job writing the complaint.
Note that every corporation
has dual citizenship based on 28 USC ¤ 1332(c).
For diversity purposes, a
corporation is a resident of the place of its incorporation and the place
where it has its principal business. Both of these places must be diverse from the plaintiff's residency
in order to establish diversity jurisdiction. In this case, the Randazzo failed to provide
sufficient information to establish subject matter jurisdiction.
For example, assume that
Yahoo Inc. is incorporated in Delaware and it has its principal place on
business in California. A plaintiff from Delaware or from California
cannot sue Yahoo in a federal court based on diversity jurisdiction.
You really need to read the
judge's opinion. It's quite humorous.