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Fireman's Fund Insurance Co. v. Pratt & Whitney Power Systems

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS EASTERN DIVISION


June 15, 2007

FIREMAN'S FUND INSURANCE COMPANY, ETC., PLAINTIFF,
v.
PRATT & WHITNEY POWER SYSTEMS, INC., DEFENDANT.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Milton I. Shadur Senior United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM ORDER

Fireman's Fund Insurance Company ("Fireman's Fund") has filed this diversity action as subrogee of R.S. Maher & Son, Inc. ("R.S. Maher"), claiming that it sustained damages stemming from negligence on the part of Pratt & Whitney Power Systems, Inc. ("Pratt & Whitney"). This memorandum order is issued sua sponte to seek clarification of one aspect of Fireman's Fund's Complaint.

According to Complaint ¶16, Fireman's Fund had acquired subrogee status by reason of having paid the $100,000 coverage limit under an insurance policy that it had issued to R.S. Maher. According to Complaint ¶15, however, the claim that had been asserted against R.S. Maher was in excess of $250,000. It is thus unclear whether R.S. Maher does or does not itself have a claim against Pratt & Whitney for an amount over and above the $100,000 figure that is the measure of Fireman's Fund's asserted subrogation rights.

That uncertainty is compounded somewhat by the inclusion of the 28 U.S.C. §1332(c)(1) factors as to R.S. Maher's corporate citizenship in Complaint ¶2, which is part of the Complaint's jurisdictional allegations (those factors would be irrelevant if Fireman's Fund is in fact the only party in interest in this lawsuit).*fn1 At bottom, though, this Court will take Fireman's Fund at its word in identifying itself as the sole plaintiff, so that no relief is being sought here other than its claimed damages. If the situation is otherwise, Fireman's Fund will be expected to make any necessary pleading changes. In the meantime this Court is contemporaneously issuing its customary initial scheduling order.


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