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Schoeffler-Miller v. Northwest Airlines

November 17, 2008

GERLINDE SCHOEFFLER-MILLER PLAINTIFF,
v.
NORTHWEST AIRLINES, INC., AND AIR FRANCE-KLM, S.A. D/B/A KLM ROYAL DUTCH AIRLINES DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Joe Billy Mcdade United States District Judge

OPINION & ORDER

Before the Court is Plaintiff's motion to remand this case to the Circuit Court of the Fourteenth Judicial Circuit of Rock Island County, where it was originally filed (Doc. 8). Defendants filed a response in opposition on April 21, 2008 (Doc. 9). For the reasons stated below, Plaintiff's motion to remand is DENIED.

BACKGROUND

This case involves an action for damages resulting from the personal injuries sustained by Plaintiff, which allegedly occurred when Plaintiff was disembarking an international flight in Amsterdam. On or about March 14, 2006, Plaintiff's daughter purchased airline tickets from the Defendant airlines for Plaintiff to travel round-trip from Chicago, Illinois to Stuttgart, Germany.

Plaintiff's itinerary was as follows:

Flight from U.S. to Europe

A. Flight 8612 departing from Chicago -- O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois at 4:40 p.m. on September 20, 2006, and arriving at Amsterdam-Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, Netherlands at 7:35 a.m. on September 21, 2006;

B. Flight 8783 departing from Amsterdam-Schiphol Airport in Amersterdam, Netherlands at 8:40 a.m. on September 21, 2006, and arriving at Stuttgart Airport in Stutgart, Germany at 9:55 a.m. on September 21, 2006

Flight back to U.S. from Europe

C. Flight 8242 departing from Stuttgart Airport in Stuttgart, Germany at 6:15 a.m. on November 1, 2006, and arriving an Amsterdam-Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, Netherlands at 7:55 a.m. on November 1, 2006;

D. Flight 8611 departing from Amsterdam-Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, Netherlands at 10:30 a.m. on November 1, 2006 and arriving at Chicago -- O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois at 12:15 p.m. on November 1, 2006.

Plaintiff's air-travel plans went smoothly until November 1, 2006. On that date, Plaintiff boarded an airplane in Stuttgart, Germany as planned. While on the flight from Stuttgart to Amsterdam, Plaintiff became ill. According to her Verified Complaint, filed in state court, Plaintiff got the attention of a flight attendant. Plaintiff notified the flight attendant that she was ill and that she would need help disembarking the plane once it landed in Amsterdam. According to Plaintiff, the flight crew refused her any assistance in disembarking the plane, and, as Plaintiff attempted to disembark unassisted, she lost consciousness and fell down several metal stairs onto the tarmac, suffering physical injury.

On August 10, 2007, Plaintiff filed a Verified Complaint in Illinois Circuit Court in Rock Island County alleging common law negligence against Defendants Northwest Airlines, Inc. and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines. In her Verified Complaint, Plaintiff alleges severe injuries to her limbs and body as well as pain and mental anguish resulting from the November 1, 2006 incident. She seeks damages in excess of $10,000.

On March 24, 2008, Defendants removed the case to federal court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. ยงยง 1441 and 1331 (Doc. 1). Defendants argue that this Court has original jurisdiction over the matter based on federal-question jurisdiction. On April 3, 2008, Plaintiff filed a motion to remand the case to state court, arguing that Defendants' removal was improper (Doc. 8). ...


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