The opinion of the court was delivered by: LECHNER
ORIGINAL FILED WITH THE CLERK OF THE COURT
This action by plaintiff MaryJane Garcia ("Garcia"), on behalf of herself and all others similarly situated (collectively, the "Putative Plaintiffs"), alleges violations of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, N.J.S.A. § 56:8-1 et seq., breach of express and implied warranties, negligence, negligent misrepresentation and common-law fraud and deceit against defendant General Motors Corporation ("GMC"). Removal jurisdiction is alleged pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a) ("Section 1441(a)").
Currently before the court is the question whether this matter should be remanded to the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Bergen County (the "Superior Court") pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c) ("Section 1447(c)").
For the reasons set forth below, this matter is remanded to the Superior Court.
Facts and Procedural History
On 1 May 1995, Garcia filed a "class action complaint" (the "Complaint") in the Superior Court, bearing docket number L-4394-95. Garcia's allegations against GMC concern an automobile known as a W-Body Car ("W-Body Car"), which is defined as any Buick Regal, Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme, Pontiac Grand Prix or Chevrolet Lumina for the model years 1988 to 1993. Complaint, P 1. Garcia alleges she owns a 1990 Chevrolet Lumina. Id., P 4.
Garcia alleges GMC "marketed, advertised and sold W-Body Cars in a deceptive manner by misrepresenting their quality and safety and actively concealing the fact that the W-Body Cars contain a hidden defect, which poses an unreasonable safety risk, as well as the need for costly repairs." Complaint, P 2. Garcia alleges that GMC "knew or, in reckless disregard for the truth, failed to know," that the rear disc brakes on W-Body Cars, which were manufactured by a division of GMC, contain "defective rear disc brake caliper pins . . . which tended to corrode." Id. Garcia further alleges that "such corrosion renders the rear disc brakes unusable, creating both a safety hazard and premature wearing of the front and rear disc brakes. . . ." Id. Garcia alleges that, as a result of these allegedly defective caliper pins, current and prior owners or lessees of W-Body Cars "suffered a diminution in the value of the vehicles. . . . [and] damages . . . for costly repairs." Id. "Plaintiff[s] . . . specifically do not seek damages for personal injuries. . . ." Id.
Garcia alleges that the Putative Plaintiffs in this matter are "all persons or entities in the United States who currently own or lease" a W-Body Car, "or who previously owned or leased a . . . W-Body Car and suffered economic damage as a result of the defect in the caliper pins in . . . W-Body Cars." Complaint, P 6. Garcia alleges "approximately three million . . . W-Body Cars have been sold in the United States." Id., P 7; see Moving Brief at 14 n.4 (alleging there are three million Putative Plaintiffs).
GMC filed a Verified Petition for Removal (the "Removal Petition") with the Clerk of the court. The Removal Petition alleges jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a)(1) ("Section 1332(a)(1)") and 28 U.S.C. § 1367 ("Section 1367"). Id., PP 6-7. The Removal Petition alleges Garcia is a resident of the State of New Jersey, id., P 1, and also alleges GMC is a corporation organized and existing under the laws of the State of Delaware, with its principal place of business in the State of Michigan. Id., P 2. GMC alleges that "the claims asserted by Plaintiff, if proven, exceed the value of $ 50,000.00." Id., P 6.
Under the general Federal removal statutes, an action brought in state court can be removed by a defendant to a Federal district court if that Federal court would have had original jurisdiction over the action. See Section 1441(a).
A defendant seeking to remove a case must file "a notice of removal . . . containing a short and plain statement of the grounds for removal, together with a copy of all process, pleadings, and orders served. . . ." 28 U.S.C. § 1446(a).
The removing party must show Federal subject matter jurisdiction exists and removal is proper. Boyer v. Snap-On Tools Corp., 913 F.2d 108, 111 (3d Cir. 1990), cert. denied, 498 U.S. 1085, 112 L. Ed. 2d 1046, 111 S. Ct. 959 (1991); Steel Valley Auth. v. Union Switch & Signal Div., 809 F.2d 1006, 1010 (3d Cir. 1987), cert. dism'd sub nom. American Standard, Inc. v. Steel Valley Auth., 484 U.S. 1021, 98 L. Ed. 2d 756, 108 S. Ct. 739 (1988); Moore v. DeBiase, 766 F. Supp. ...