WHEELING — A lawsuit filed by two Wheeling property owners against State Farm Fire & Casualty Company has been remanded back to state court.
Although U.S. Federal Judge Frederick P. Stamp Jr. remanded the case, he did note that nothing was stopping the defendant from filing a second notice of removal should the case become removable within one year.
The plaintiffs argued that the amount in controversy was $14,550 and not close to the $75,000 limit for state court, according to the judge's memorandum opinion and order.
The case was remanded to Ohio Circuit Court, according to the opinion and order. It was dismissed and stricken from the federal court docket.
The Wheeling property owners accused State Farm of breach of contract.
Nathaniel Realty LLC and Dr. Howard L. Shackelford filed a complaint in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia Wheeling Division against against State Farm Fire & Casualty Company, alleging an illegitimate cancellation of insurance policies.
According to the complaint, on July 2017, the plaintiffs discovered that their Wheeling property insured by State Farm was infested with hundreds of bats in the attic.
The plaintiffs say they promptly notified State Farm of the infestation, but the defendant refuses to conduct an inspection and illegitimately canceled the insurance policy. After completing the repairs to the dwelling amounting to $14,550, the suit says, State Farm refuses to reimburse the plaintiffs for the costs of repairs.
The plaintiffs allege State Farm Fire and Casualty refused to pay and/or offer to pay any of the benefits that are due and owing.
Nathaniel Realty and Shackelford seek trial by jury, compensatory, general and punitive damages, pre- and post-judgment interest, attorney fees and expenses incurred. They are represented by attorney Scott S. Blass of Bordas & Bordas, PLLC in Wheeling.
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia Case number: 5:18-cv-00110