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Nalbone v. The Mirage Casino-Hotel

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

July 25, 2017

MARIA NALBONE, Plaintiff,
v.
THE MIRAGE CASINO-HOTEL, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          PETER G. SHERIDAN, U.S.D.J.

         This matter is before the Court on a motion to change venue by MGM Resorts International, Inc. (plead as The Mirage Casino-Hotel) (ECF No. 6); and a motion to remand this matter to state court by Plaintiff Maria Nalbone because the requirements for diversity jurisdiction are not met (ECF No. 9). The Court will consider the motion to remand initially.

         Plaintiff seeks to remand this case to the Superior Court of New Jersey. Plaintiff resides in New Jersey and the Mirage Casino Hotel is a limited liability company of Nevada, with a single member (MGM Resorts, a corporation of Nevada). Plaintiff argues that the case has a value of less than $75, 000, and accordingly, it does not meet diversity jurisdiction.

         I.

         On June 20, 2016, Maria Nalbone (87 years old) fell in her room at the Mirage Casino Hotel in Las Vegas. Evidently, water collected in an area of the bathroom and she slipped and fell. The fall caused an injury to one of her ribs.

         The physicians in Las Vegas determined that she had bruised ribs, and did not recommend any further treatment; however when Nalbone returned to New Jersey, she still had pain. Nalbone's primary care physician recommended she be rechecked at a local hospital. The hospital (Robert Wood Johnson) x-rayed Nalbone again. The staff at Robert Wood Johnson found that Nalbone's eleventh rib was fractured, but this did not require further treatment. As such, she was discharged. Nalbone recovered without any complications.

         In a demand letter to MGM dated November 18, 2016, Nalbone's attorney stated that due to "the painful and disabling nature of Ms. Nalbone's injuries, I am authorized to demand $75, 000." Some of the facts underlying the damages valuation include:

Loss Wages: $0 (Nalbone is retired)
Life Expectancy: 5.7 years.
Age: 87 Medical Costs: $5, 000 (at most)
Out of Pocket Costs: $0 (none alleged)
Treatment: Two x-rays, no hospitalization, no surgeries, no other significant treatment.
Pain and Suffering: Loss of Sleep, restricted daily activities, and pain in the rib area

         Defendant argues that Plaintiffs counsel demand of $75, 000 was a cent below the diversity threshold, and the low demand was an ...


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