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Grogan v. Babson Brothers Co

    Brief Fact Summary.

    Grogan (plaintiff) sued Babson Brothers Co. (defendant) for negligence and breach of warranty.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law.

    If a plaintiff properly joins additional parties in a properly removed case, the plaintiff may join non diverse defendants so long as it is not for the purpose of destroying diversity.

    Facts.

    The plaintiff purchased milking equipment for his livestock from a distributor, and the equipment caused electricity to come into contract with the livestock. The plaintiff sued the distributor and the company who installed the milking equipment. However, when the plaintiff learned that the equipment was manufactured by the defendant and proceeded to bring a separate suit against them. The defendant removed the case to federal court based on diversity jurisdiction and the plaintiff wanted to join the distributor and the company who installed the equipment. However, joining them would destroy diversity because all the defendants would no longer be diverse.

    Issue.

    Whether if a plaintiff properly joins additional parties in a properly removed case, the plaintiff may join non diverse defendants so long as it is not for the purpose of destroying diversity.

    Held.

    Yes. If a plaintiff properly joins additional parties in a properly removed case, the plaintiff may join non diverse defendants so long as it is not for the purpose of destroying diversity.

    Discussion.

    Under Rule 20(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure allows a plaintiff to join additional defendants if the plaintiff can assert a right to recover against each defendant that arises out of the same event or transaction and the case involves at least one question of law or fact common to all of the parties. Joinder allow the courts to flow more efficiently and bringing several separate suits when the case can be resolved in one suit would be inefficient. Here, joining the additional defendants would not be prejudicial and the plaintiff is not attempting to join the additional parties to destroy diversity.


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