Insurance disputes involving smaller claims can properly be handled in a State or County courts if the insurance lawyer knows how to keep the case from being removed to Federal court. This is illustrated in the 2019, opinion styled, Michael Ihekoronye v. United Property & Casualty Insurance Company. Plaintiff, Michael Ihekoronye, filed the case in State court and United removed the case to Federal court. Plaintiff filed a motion to remand the case back to the State court.
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C., Section 1332(a), Federal district courts have original jurisdiction over civil actions between citizens of different states where the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000, exclusive of interest and costs. A state-court plaintiff seeking to avoid federal jurisdiction may do so by filing a binding stipulation with the original complaint that limits recovery to an amount below the jurisdictional threshold.
In this case, United argues that removal was proper because the parties are completely diverse and the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000. Plaintiff seeks remand based on a stipulation attached as Exhibit E to the state court petition, which states that “the total sum or value in controversy in this cause of action does not exceed $75,000 exclusive of interest and costs” and that “neither Plaintiff nor his/her attorney will accept an amount that exceeds $75,000 exclusive of interest and costs.”