Matthiesen v. Northwestern Mutual Insurance Co., No. 18518.

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
Writing for the CourtTUTTLE, , JONES, Circuit , and MIZE
Citation286 F.2d 775
PartiesAnna H. MATTHIESEN, Appellant, v. NORTHWESTERN MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY, Appellee.
Decision Date15 February 1961
Docket NumberNo. 18518.

286 F.2d 775 (1961)

Anna H. MATTHIESEN, Appellant,
v.
NORTHWESTERN MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY, Appellee.

No. 18518.

United States Court of Appeals Fifth Circuit.

February 15, 1961.


Donald V. Organ, H. Alva Brumfield, Gene S. Palmisano, New Orleans, La., for appellant.

St. Clair Adams, Jr., Adams & Reese, New Orleans, La., for appellee.

Before TUTTLE, Chief Judge, JONES, Circuit Judge, and MIZE, District Judge.

TUTTLE, Chief Judge.

This appeal presents the unusual question whether the trial court erred in dismissing a personal injury damage suit for want of jurisdictional amount to sustain federal jurisdiction.

The plaintiff, a seventy-eight year old woman, while walking on the sidewalk in New Orleans alongside a private school playground, was struck by a football, causing her to lose her balance and fall. As a result of the fall she received a fracture of the upper left humerus. The fracture was treated by physicians at the Ochsner Clinic in New Orleans, by the use of "sling and swath." The arm was immobilized by being bound tightly to the body for a period of eight weeks. It is undisputed that the injury healed normally with no significant impairment. The final medical report, made some eighteen months following the injury, stated that the plaintiff complained of pain at the limits of motion of the arm, but stated that there was no soreness in the member. The plaintiff testified to some pain during the course of the eight weeks' treatment and testified that pain persisted to the date of trial.

286 F.2d 776

After the trial court, sitting without a jury, had heard the evidence offered by the plaintiff as to the extent of the injuries and out-of-pocket expenses, and the case had been concluded except for the proposed deposition of a defendant's witness touching on the question of liability, the trial court announced:

"I am going to study the question as to whether or not there is jurisdictional amount in this case. I don\'t think there is but, in any event, don\'t get the testimony of the Sister at this time, unless you are notified by the Court."

Thereafter, the trial court dismissed the complaint upon the following statement:

"Plaintiff suffered a fractured humerus which healed without incident with no residual disability. Her medical expenses were $50.00, and there was no loss of earnings. Under the circumstances, this is a colorable invocation of federal jurisdiction."

At the outset we stated that this action by the trial court is unusual, as of...

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19 practice notes
  • Lindsay v. American General Life & Acc. Ins., No. CV 01-BU-0477-E.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. United States District Court of Northern District of Alabama
    • 23 Febrero 2001
    ...in the petition") (quoting Colorado Life Co. v. Steele, 95 F.2d 535, 536 (8th Cir.1938)); Matthiesen v. Northwestern Mut. Ins. Co., 286 F.2d 775, 777 (5th Cir.1961) ("However, the legal impossibility of recovery must be so certain as virtually to negative the plaintiff's good fait......
  • Davenport v. Mutual Benefit Health & Accident Ass'n, No. 18780.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • 23 Diciembre 1963
    ...586, 82 L.Ed. 845; McDonald v. Patton, 4th Cir., 240 F.2d 424, 426; Matthiesen v. Northwestern Mutual Insurance Company, 5 Cir. 1961, 286 F.2d 775. Appellees urge that the claim made by plaintiff for exemplary or punitive damages cannot be made in good faith. If made in good faith, punitive......
  • Anderson v. Moorer, No. 22822.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • 9 Febrero 1967
    ...of Tenn. v. Enterprise Publishing Co., 5 Cir. 1954, 210 F. 2d 895. Compare Matthiesen v. Northwestern Mutual Insurance Co., 5 Cir. 1961, 286 F.2d 775. The defendants argue, however, that the certain futility of the plaintiff's case shows that this controversy is worth less than $10,000. The......
  • AMERICAN EUTECTIC WELD. AL. SALES CO. v. García-Rodríguez, Civ. No. 104-72.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. District of Puerto Rico
    • 3 Enero 1973
    ...stage of the case, and in this type of motion. Muller v. Groban, 346 F.2d 263 (7 Cir., 1965); Matthiesen v. Northwestern Mutual Ins. Co., 286 F.2d 775 (5 Cir., 1961); Arnold v. Troccoli, 344 F.2d 842 (2 Cir., ABSTENTION The defendant moved that an order to stay proceedings be granted until ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
19 cases
  • Lindsay v. American General Life & Acc. Ins., No. CV 01-BU-0477-E.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. United States District Court of Northern District of Alabama
    • 23 Febrero 2001
    ...in the petition") (quoting Colorado Life Co. v. Steele, 95 F.2d 535, 536 (8th Cir.1938)); Matthiesen v. Northwestern Mut. Ins. Co., 286 F.2d 775, 777 (5th Cir.1961) ("However, the legal impossibility of recovery must be so certain as virtually to negative the plaintiff's good fait......
  • Davenport v. Mutual Benefit Health & Accident Ass'n, No. 18780.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • 23 Diciembre 1963
    ...586, 82 L.Ed. 845; McDonald v. Patton, 4th Cir., 240 F.2d 424, 426; Matthiesen v. Northwestern Mutual Insurance Company, 5 Cir. 1961, 286 F.2d 775. Appellees urge that the claim made by plaintiff for exemplary or punitive damages cannot be made in good faith. If made in good faith, punitive......
  • Anderson v. Moorer, No. 22822.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • 9 Febrero 1967
    ...of Tenn. v. Enterprise Publishing Co., 5 Cir. 1954, 210 F. 2d 895. Compare Matthiesen v. Northwestern Mutual Insurance Co., 5 Cir. 1961, 286 F.2d 775. The defendants argue, however, that the certain futility of the plaintiff's case shows that this controversy is worth less than $10,000. The......
  • AMERICAN EUTECTIC WELD. AL. SALES CO. v. García-Rodríguez, Civ. No. 104-72.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. District of Puerto Rico
    • 3 Enero 1973
    ...stage of the case, and in this type of motion. Muller v. Groban, 346 F.2d 263 (7 Cir., 1965); Matthiesen v. Northwestern Mutual Ins. Co., 286 F.2d 775 (5 Cir., 1961); Arnold v. Troccoli, 344 F.2d 842 (2 Cir., ABSTENTION The defendant moved that an order to stay proceedings be granted until ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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