R.R. Street & Co. Inc. v. Transport Insurance Co.

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Civil Procedure
  • Date Filed: 09-02-2011
  • Case #: 10-55404
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge Beezer for the Court; Circuit Judges Trott and Rymer
  • Full Text Opinion

Having discretion under Wilton/Brillhart, the district court properly granted a party’s motion for remand; since the district court was concerned with piecemeal litigation and impeding the progress of a prior action, the district court properly granted a motion to dismiss.

Several tort lawsuits (collectively “Tort Actions”) were brought against Vulcan Materials Company (Vulcan) and R.R. Street & Co. Inc. (Street). Since 2005, the companies and their insurers have been in an ongoing dispute regarding liability for the damages and costs in such actions. After numerous liability lawsuits involving all parties, Street and their insurance company, National Union Fire Insurance Company (“National”), filed an action for damages against Transport Insurance Company (“Transport”), Vulcan’s insurer in a California Federal Court (the “Federal Action”). The parties agreed to dismiss the claim a few days later, and in November 2009, Transport filed a declaratory judgment action against Street and National in California state court (the “Removed Action”). Next, Transport filed a motion to stay or dismiss the Federal Action. Street removed the Removed Action to federal court. After the district judge granted Transport’s motion for remand of the Removed Action and dismissal of the Federal Action, Street/National appealed to the Ninth Circuit determine if they were properly granted. After consolidating the appeals, the Ninth Circuit first determined that an actual controversy still exists between Transport and Street/National and therefore denied Transport’s attempt to dismiss the appeal of the remand order. With regard to the district court’s grant of Transport’s motion for remand, the Ninth Circuit determined that the court had discretion under Wilton/Brillhart to grant the motion. With regard to the district court’s grant of Transport’s motion to dismiss, the Ninth Circuit determined that the district court’s concerns regarding piecemeal litigation and interfering with the progress made in the prior Vulcan action supported the dismissal. AFFIRMED.

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