Premises Liability – Federal Court diversity jurisdiction retained.

Howard F. Strongin successfully argued that federal court jurisdiction should be retained in Nickel v. Nike Inc., et al. United States District Court, Southern District of New York.

Plaintiff alleged that while lawfully walking about on premises owned, maintained and controlled by defendants, he “was caused to trip and/or slip and fall and sustain severe and permanent injury.” The parties did not dispute diversity of citizenship, but they did contest whether the amount in controversy requirement was satisfied. Although Plaintiff moved to remand the matter to the New York State Court, he would not sign a stipulation limiting his damages to $75,000. The Court held that In determining whether the amount in controversy requirement is satisfied, courts “look first to the [plaintiff’s] complaint and then to [the defendants’] petition for removal.” After reading the allegations in the Complaint together with other evidence in the record, the Court found a reasonable probability that the claim was in excess of the statutory jurisdictional amount.