Randazzo v. Eagle-Picher Industries, Inc.
117 F.R.F. 557 (E.D. Pa. 1987)

  • Randazzo was injured by exposure to asbestos. He sued some corporations (including Eagle-Pitcher) in Federal Court.
    • Randazzo argued that the Federal Court could hear the case based on diversity jurisdiction.
  • In his complaint, Randazzo failed to list place of incorporation or principal place of business for some of the corporation. Eagle Pitcher made a motion to dismiss the case because the pleading was improper.
    • Randazzo’s amended complaint also failed to provide this information.
    • Federal Rule 8(a)(1) specifies the requirements for pleading the grounds for Federal jurisdiction.
  • The Appellate Court dismissed the case.
    • The Appellate Court found that the Federal courts do not have subject matter jurisdiction based on diversity where the plaintiff fails to provide the place of incorporation or principal place of business of the corporate defendants.
      • Basically, if the plaintiff doesn’t mention where the corporations are from, the court has no idea whether or not they have diversity jurisdiction to hear the case or not. The court won’t bother trying to figure it out, they will simply dismiss the case and tell the plaintiff to do a better job writing the complaint.
  • Note that every corporation has dual citizenship based on 28 USC ¤ 1332(c).
    • For diversity purposes, a corporation is a resident of the place of its incorporation and the place where it has its principal business. Both of these places must be diverse from the plaintiff’s residency in order to establish diversity jurisdiction. In this case, the Randazzo failed to provide sufficient information to establish subject matter jurisdiction.
    • For example, assume that Yahoo Inc. is incorporated in Delaware and it has its principal place on business in California. A plaintiff from Delaware or from California cannot sue Yahoo in a federal court based on diversity jurisdiction.
  • You really need to read the judge’s opinion. It’s quite humorous.