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KOMESHAK v. CONCENTRA

October 7, 2005.

PATRICK B. KOMESHAK, d/b/a KOMESHAK CHIROPRACTIC, and DALE FISCHER, D.C., d/b/a LEBANON CHIROPRACTIC, individually and on behalf of others similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
v.
CONCENTRA, INC., Defendant and Third-Party Plaintiff, v. NATIONAL RAILROAD PASSENGER CORPORATION (AMTRAK) and THE AMERICAN NATIONAL RED CROSS, Third-Party Defendants. RICHARD COY, D.C., COY CHIROPRACTIC HEALTH CENTER, INC., and THOMAS L. KALTENBRONN, D.C., individually and on behalf of others similarly situated, Plaintiffs, v. FOCUS HEALTHCARE MANAGEMENT, INC., Defendant and Third-Party Plaintiff, v. NATIONAL RAILROAD PASSENGER CORPORATION (AMTRAK) and THE AMERICAN NATIONAL RED CROSS, Third-Party Defendants.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: DAVID HERNDON, District Judge

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

I. Introduction

Before the Court are (1) a motion to remand submitted by Plaintiffs Patrick B. Komeshack, d/b/a Komeshak Chiropractic, and Dale Fischer, D.C., d/b/a Lebanon Chiropractic, individually and on behalf of others similarly situated (together, the "Komeshak Plaintiffs" or "Plaintiffs") (Case No. 05-CV-261-DRH (hereinafter "Komeshack"), Doc. 25); (2) a motion to remand submitted by Plaintiffs Richard Coy, D.C., Coy Chiropractic Health Center, Inc., and Thomas L. Kaltenbronn, D.C., individually and on behalf of others similarly situated (together, the "Coy Plaintiffs" or "Plaintiffs") (Case No. 05-CV-349-DRH (hereinafter "Coy"), Doc. 17); and (3) a motion to stay all proceedings submitted by Defendant Concentra (Komeshak, Doc. 55).

  In Komeshak v. Concentra, Inc., Plaintiffs filed a class action against Defendant Concentra in St. Clair County Circuit Court on February 15, 2005. (Komeshak, Doc. 9.) On April 12, 2005, Defendant Concentra removed the case to federal court. (Komeshak, Doc. 1.) On the same day, Concentra filed a third-party complaint against Defendants National Railroad Passenger Corporation ("Amtrak") and The American Red Cross ("ARC"). (Komeshak, Doc. 6.) Plaintiffs filed their motion to remand on May 4, 2005. (Komeshak, Doc. 25.) Defendant Concentra and third-party Defendant ARC respond in opposition. (Komeshak, Docs. 39, 40.)

  On September 21, 2005 Defendant Concentra filed a motion to stay all proceedings. (Komeshak, Doc. 55.) Third-party Defendant ARC responds in opposition to that motion. (Komeshak, Doc. 56.)

  In Coy v. Focus Healthcare Management, Inc., Plaintiffs filed a class action against Defendant Focus Healthcare Management ("Focus") on February 11, 2005 in Madison County Circuit Court. (Coy, Doc. 2.) Third-party Defendant ARC removed to federal court on May 17, 2005. (Coy, Doc. 1.) Plaintiffs filed their motion to remand on June 3, 2005. (Coy, Doc. 17.) Defendant ARC responds in opposition. (Coy, Doc. 25.)

  Because Concentra and Focus are affiliated companies, and because both cases pose "substantially identical questions of law and fact," these two matters were consolidated in this Court on August 1, 2005. (Coy, Doc. 37; Komeshak, Doc. 50.)

  II. Background

  The two class-action complaints before the Court are quite similar. (Komeshak, Doc. 9; Coy, Doc. 2.) The Komeshak Complaint alleges violations of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act, 815 ILCS 505/1 et seq. and other state consumer-protection statutes, unjust enrichment, and civil conspiracy. (Komeshak, Doc. 9, pp. 17-23.) The Coy Complaint alleges those claims in addition to breach of contract. (Coy, Doc. 2, pp. 10-17.) Both sets of Plaintiffs, individually and on behalf of the putative classes, request damages and other appropriate relief. (Komeshak, Doc. 9; Coy, Doc. 2.)

  Concentra asserts that jurisdiction in this Court is proper for two reasons. First, Concentra argues that this matter commenced on the date it was removed to federal court, and, under the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005, Pub.L. No. 109-2, § 9, 119 Stat. 14 (amending 28 U.S.C. § 1332) ("CAFA" or the "Act"), federal jurisdiction is proper. (Komeshak, Docs. 1, 40.) Second, Concentra argues that this Court should exercise supplemental jurisdiction over Plaintiff's state-law claims because Concentra's third-party complaint against Amtrak and ARC arise out of the same case or controversy. (Id.)

  To support its supplemental-jurisdiction allegations, Concentra filed a third-party complaint against Amatrak and ARC. (Komeshak, Doc. 6.) In that Complaint, Concentra alleges that both Amtrak and ARC are "payor[s] with financial responsibility for paying medical p roviders for valid, covered health care services rendered to [their] employees" (Komeshak, Doc. 6, p. 4), and therefore [t]o the extent that the plaintiffs are entitled to recover any damages from Concentra pursuant to the Complaint, Concentra is entitled to contribution from Amtrak in an amount equal to Amtrak's proportionate share of liability." (Komeshak, Doc. 6, pp. 5-6.)

  The Komeshak Plaintiffs moved to remand on May 4, 2005. (Komeshak, Doc. 25.) Plaintiffs first argue that because they filed their Complaint on February 15, 2005 — three days prior to the CAFA's effective date — the CAFA does not apply here. Second, Plaintiffs argue that Concentra's third-party claims are an insufficient basis to keep its state-law claims in federal court. Concentra responds by claiming both that the CAFA should apply here and that the facts are sufficient to establish supplemental jurisdiction over Plaintiff's state-law claims. (Komeshak, Doc. 40.) In its response, ARC forgoes a CAFA argument, but raises supplemental jurisdiction. (Komeshak, Doc. 39.)

  In Coy, third-party Defendant ARC — not Focus — removed to federal court. (Coy, Doc. 1.) ARC bases its argument for supplemental jurisdiction in Coy on the same arguments advanced in Komeshak. (Coy, Docs. 1, 25.)

  Concentra's Motion to Stay is based on a stipulation of settlement entered in a Pennsylvania case, First State Orthopedic v. Concentra, Inc., E.D. Pa. Civil Action No. 02:05-cv-04951-AB. (Komeshak, Doc. 55.) Concentra argues that this proposed settlement "encompasses all claims in this matter." (Komeshak, Doc. 55.) ARC responds that Conentra's ...


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