The Eleventh Circuit today ordered remand of a case that originated in state court because Florida law didn’t clearly bar claims against a non-diverse defendant.  The plaintiffs alleged that exposure to contamination on adjoining property caused them personal injury or death and that a Florida statute extended liability to subsequent owners like the defendants.  The court held that "Florida law is unclear" on the liability of landowners for harm occurring before their acquisition of the property.  The district court thus erred in concluding that the plaintiffs couldn’t possibly state a claim against a non-diverse defendant for purposes of the statute creating federal court jurisdiction in cases between citizens of different states.  Florence v. Crescent Resources, LLC, No. 06-13587 (11th Cir. Apr. 18, 2007).

Barry Barnett

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