Gaar v. Quirk, No. 95-30954

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
Writing for the CourtBefore WISDOM, DAVIS and STEWART; WISDOM
Citation86 F.3d 451
PartiesDr. J. Frazer GAAR, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Gerard QUIRK and Rose Quirk, Defendant-Appellants. Summary Calendar.
Docket NumberNo. 95-30954
Decision Date27 June 1996

Page 451

86 F.3d 451
Dr. J. Frazer GAAR, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
Gerard QUIRK and Rose Quirk, Defendant-Appellants.
No. 95-30954
Summary Calendar.
United States Court of Appeals,
Fifth Circuit.
June 27, 1996.

Page 453

Marc Wayne Judice, Michael W. Adley, Judice, Hill & Adley, Lafayette, LA, for J. Frazier Gaar, plaintiff-appellee.

Joseph R. Joy, III, Lafayette, LA, for defendants-appellants.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana.

Before WISDOM, DAVIS and STEWART, Circuit Judges.

WISDOM, Circuit Judge:

BACKGROUND

In 1993, the defendant/appellant, Gerard Quirk, 1 allegedly suffered an injury while working as a pipe-fitter for Seawolf Services. Quirk filed for compensation for these injuries under the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA). 2 A doctor selected by Quirk and one chosen by his employer's LHWCA insurance carrier each examined Quirk and reached opposite conclusions; Quirk's doctor determined that Quirk was disabled and in need of surgery to correct his injury while the insurance carrier's physician concluded that Quirk was not a candidate for surgery, that surgery could worsen his condition, and that his condition would improve. Because of the conflicting medical opinions, the insurance carrier denied coverage for the surgery.

To resolve their dispute, Quirk and the insurance carrier then agreed to be bound by the opinion of an independent medical examiner. They choose Dr. J. Frazer Gaar, the plaintiff/appellee. After performing his examination, Gaar concluded that Quirk was not in need of surgery and was fit to return to work. Based on Gaar's medical opinion, Quirk was denied LHWCA benefits.

Quirk and his wife then filed a claim against Dr. Gaar with the Louisiana Patient's Compensation Fund, 3 alleging that Gaar's opinion constituted medical malpractice. In response, Gaar filed the instant suit in federal district court, requesting a declaratory judgment that grants him judicial immunity from Quirk's state action because of Gaar's role in the LHWCA proceeding. The district court, agreeing with Gaar that he is entitled to immunity for the opinion he rendered for the quasi-judicial LHWCA proceeding, granted Gaar the requested declaratory judgment. Quirk now appeals this decision.

JURISDICTION

Though neither party nor the district court questioned jurisdiction, it is our duty to raise this issue sua sponte. 4 Parties who seek to invoke the jurisdiction of the federal courts have the duty to establish jurisdiction by affirmatively alleging the facts conferring jurisdiction in...

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30 practice notes
  • McCall v. Dallas Independent School Dist., No. CIV.A. 3:99CV2118L.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 5th Circuit. United States District Courts. 5th Circuit. Northern District of Texas
    • April 17, 2001
    ...have the duty to establish jurisdiction by affirmatively alleging the facts conferring jurisdiction in their complaints." Gaar v. Quirk, 86 F.3d 451, 453 (5th Cir.1996) (emphasis added). 9. "All persons within the jurisdiction of the United States shall have the same right in every State an......
  • Classic Performance v. Acceptance Indem., CIV.A. No. H-05-3929.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 5th Circuit. United States District Courts. 5th Circuit. Southern District of Texas
    • September 13, 2006
    ...§ 2201 is merely procedural, and that it extends only to those controversies within the jurisdiction of the federal courts. Gaar v. Quirk, 86 F.3d 451, 453-54 (5th Cir.1996); Lowe v. Ingalls Shipbuilding, 723 F.2d 1173, 1176-77 (5th Cir.1984). For that reason, federal courts may not enterta......
  • North Cent. F.S., Inc. v. Brown, No. C 96-3074-MWB.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. Northern District of Iowa
    • December 23, 1996
    ...lie in some independent basis of jurisdiction," and, absent diversity, that basis must be federal question jurisdiction); Gaar v. Quirk, 86 F.3d 451, 454 (5th Cir.1996) ("A petition for declaratory judgment concerning federal law is not sufficient to create federal jurisdiction; `hence the ......
  • Farmers Co-Op. Elevator, Woden, Iowa v. Doden, No. C 96-3144-MWB.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. Northern District of Iowa
    • October 29, 1996
    ...Baseball Players Ass'n, 95 F.3d 959, 965 (10th Cir.1996) (quoting Franchise Tax Bd., 463 U.S. at 16, 103 S.Ct. at 2849-50); Gaar v. Quirk, 86 F.3d 451, 454 (5th Cir. 1996) ("The general rule is that a federal defense to a state law claim does not confer federal question jurisdiction.... [Th......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
30 cases
  • McCall v. Dallas Independent School Dist., No. CIV.A. 3:99CV2118L.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 5th Circuit. United States District Courts. 5th Circuit. Northern District of Texas
    • April 17, 2001
    ...have the duty to establish jurisdiction by affirmatively alleging the facts conferring jurisdiction in their complaints." Gaar v. Quirk, 86 F.3d 451, 453 (5th Cir.1996) (emphasis added). 9. "All persons within the jurisdiction of the United States shall have the same right in every State an......
  • Classic Performance v. Acceptance Indem., CIV.A. No. H-05-3929.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 5th Circuit. United States District Courts. 5th Circuit. Southern District of Texas
    • September 13, 2006
    ...§ 2201 is merely procedural, and that it extends only to those controversies within the jurisdiction of the federal courts. Gaar v. Quirk, 86 F.3d 451, 453-54 (5th Cir.1996); Lowe v. Ingalls Shipbuilding, 723 F.2d 1173, 1176-77 (5th Cir.1984). For that reason, federal courts may not enterta......
  • North Cent. F.S., Inc. v. Brown, No. C 96-3074-MWB.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. Northern District of Iowa
    • December 23, 1996
    ...lie in some independent basis of jurisdiction," and, absent diversity, that basis must be federal question jurisdiction); Gaar v. Quirk, 86 F.3d 451, 454 (5th Cir.1996) ("A petition for declaratory judgment concerning federal law is not sufficient to create federal jurisdiction; `hence the ......
  • Farmers Co-Op. Elevator, Woden, Iowa v. Doden, No. C 96-3144-MWB.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. Northern District of Iowa
    • October 29, 1996
    ...Baseball Players Ass'n, 95 F.3d 959, 965 (10th Cir.1996) (quoting Franchise Tax Bd., 463 U.S. at 16, 103 S.Ct. at 2849-50); Gaar v. Quirk, 86 F.3d 451, 454 (5th Cir. 1996) ("The general rule is that a federal defense to a state law claim does not confer federal question jurisdiction.... [Th......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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