Big rig driver seeks to move crash lawsuit to federal court

By Charmaine Little | Jun 10, 2018

MONROE – A shipping company and its employee have responded to a lawsuit with a Notice of Removal after a rear-end collision led to a complaint. The notice was filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana Monroe Division on June 1.

Scott Bailey originally sued Acord Corporation, Geico General Insurance Company, Hirschfeld Industries LP, and driver Billy Meeks for personal injuries. Bailey in court documents claims a Hirschfeld owned Freightliner Meeks was driving rear-ended him. The lawsuit was filed in the 1st Judicial District Court for the Parish of Caddo, State of Louisiana.

Meeks responded with a request to remove him from the case. The remaining defendants approved the notice. Hirschfeld Industries and Old Republic were not officially served in the lawsuit.

The notice stated, “The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has established the removing defendant must prove, by a preponderance of the evidence that the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000.” The defendant could either show this by claiming it is “facially apparent” the amount exceeds the $75,000 threshhold, or by an affidavit. 

Meeks pointed out the plaintiff’s lawyer submitted medical records from Dr. Philip Utter of the Spine Institute of Louisiana that shows the plaintiff suffered injuries to his lower back, neck, right leg and right arm. He also reportedly endured consistent headaches, had facet joint blocks and nerve blocks work done along with physical therapy. The plaintiff reportedly underwent two back surgeries. The defendant stated the general damages most likely will exceed $75,000 not including interest and costs.

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