In Alilin v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., No. 6:14-cv-1183-Orl-41DAB (D. for M.D. Fla., Jan. 30, 2015), Judge Carlos Mendoza denied Alilin's challenge to the amount in controversy prong of State Farm's removal to federal court and found that Alilin's medical bills, which were previously submitted to State Farm with a settlement offer, were persuasive evidence that the amount in controversy exceeded $75,000. The Court also denied application of Alilin's argument that future set-offs would reduce the medical expenses to significantly less than the jurisdictional amount, because the amount in controversy is determined at the time of removal; thus, "post-judgment 'set-offs' or collateral source payments are irrelevant."
Additionally, the Court addressed State Farm's motion to dismiss Alilin's claim for bad faith, which was based on the premature nature of the claim. Alilin argued that the bad faith claim should be abated and not dismissed. Although the Court acknowledged that Florida courts hold such claims in abatement, the Court stated that Alilin "bears the burden of establishing the Article III prerequisites to jurisdiction" and found that Alilin's inability to establish the bad faith claim was ripe warranted dismissal "for want of subject matter jurisdiction."
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Edward Sylvester is a partner in the Miami office and is licensed to practice in all state and federal courts in both Florida and Ohio.