Costco Wholesale Corp. filed a notice of removal April 5 in the Superior Court of California to the Central District Court of California in a slip-and-fall case involving a customer.
The court granted the motion based on the facts of the case Costco listed in the notice and the amount of damages in controversy, which exceeds $75,000. It also claimed jurisdiction of the case under 28 U.S. Code § 1332 because Costco is not a resident citizen of California.
Under 28 U.S. Code § 1332 (c), "a corporation shall be deemed to be a citizen of any State by which it has been incorporated and the State where it has principle base of business." Since Costco was incorporated in Washington, the court reasoned to move the case to the District Court.
Yolanda Magdaleno filed a summons complaint on Feb. 21 in the Los Angeles County Superior Court claiming she slipped and fell in a Costco store.
After the incident, Magdaleno was taken by ambulance to the emergency room at Coast Plaza Hospital. There, doctors took X-rays of her left leg and hip, according to the order granting Costco's notice.
Magdaleno visited a chiropractor three times a week while she healed from her injuries. She also underwent shoulder surgery following the incident.
In total, Magdaleno sought $40,000 in compensatory damages for her medical bills and nearly $35,000 in lost earnings and potential income. She claimed wage loss, loss of use of property, hospital and medical expenses, general damages, and loss of earning capacity.
Magdaleno did not stipulate the total potential damages recoverable, but the court found that general damages are likely to exceed $35,000 and could be as high or higher than $120,000.
Costco was served on its agent for service process on March 6, 2018, less than 30 days before it filed the notice of removal request.