The opinion of the court was delivered by: JOHN C. LIFLAND
Presently before the Court is plaintiff's motion to remand this action to state court. Defendants oppose the motion. For the reasons set forth below, the Court will grant plaintiff's motion.
On January 7, 1993, plaintiff James Ryan ("Ryan") filed this action in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Middlesex County, New Jersey. On February 16, 1993, defendants removed this action to the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey. The basis for removal of the action was diversity of citizenship.
On July 22, 1993, Ryan amended the Complaint to add Puerto Rico Marine Management Incorporated ("PRMMI"), Ryan's former employer, as a defendant. The addition of PRMMI destroyed diversity because Ryan is a resident of New Jersey and PRMMI is a Delaware corporation which has its principal place of business in New Jersey. On July 27, 1993, Ryan served defendants with its notice of motion to remand the case.
Ryan's Retaliatory Discharge Claim
Defendant PRMMI operates and manages defendant Puerto Rico Maritime Shipping Authority's ("PRMSA") shipping line. (Amended Complaint P 11; Cannon Cert. P 4). Ryan was employed as Vice President of Security for PRMMI. (Amended Complaint P 12; Cannon Cert. P 4). Pursuant to his duties as Vice President of Security, Ryan was involved in the internal investigation of both PRMSA and PRMMI employees. (Amended Complaint P 16). The Amended Complaint enumerates investigations by Ryan which resulted in the criminal prosecution of PRMSA-appointed PRMMI employees or their removal from employment. (Amended Complaint P 16(a)-(f)). Ryan alleges that PRMSA initiated harassing investigations of him and the PRMMI security department in mid-1988 after Ryan discharged the friend of the Director of Security for PRMSA. (Amended Complaint PP 17, 18).
Ryan alleges that defendants fraudulently induced him into accepting early retirement at PRMMI by misrepresenting to him that his position as Vice President of Security was to be eliminated. (Amended Complaint P 19). In connection with the early retirement, Ryan executed a Part One Waiver and Release of Liability on January 10, 1992 and a Part Two Waiver and Release of Liability on June 30, 1992 ("Part One and Part Two Releases"). (Amended Complaint PP 21, 22). Ryan's early retirement was effective on June 30, 1992. (Amended Complaint P 21). Ryan learned in July 1992 that PRMSA had not in fact eliminated Ryan's position and instead, had hired a new Vice President of Security who commenced his employment on July 1, 1992, the day after Ryan's early retirement. (Amended Complaint P 23). Ryan alleges that but for the defendants' knowing, intentional and material misrepresentation regarding the elimination of his position, he would not have taken early retirement. (Amended Complaint P 24).
Based on those allegations, Ryan alleges that defendants violated the New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act, N.J.S.A. 34:19-1, et seq.
Ryan seeks equitable relief rescinding the Part One and Part Two Releases, an injunction restraining PRMSA from any further retaliation against Ryan or continuing violations of the Conscientious Employee Protection Act, reinstatement to his position as Vice President of Security, reinstatement of full fringe benefits, seniority rights and lost wages since July 1, 1992, and punitive damages. Ryan also alleges other common law claims including tortious interference with contractual rights, tortious interference with his prospective economic expectations, defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and invasion of his privacy. (Amended Complaint Counts II - VI).
28 U.S.C. § 1447(e) provides:
If after removal the plaintiff seeks to join additional defendants whose joinder would destroy subject matter jurisdiction, the court may deny joinder, or permit ...