Zimmer-Hatfield, Inc. v. Wolf, Civ. A. No. 6:93-0537.

CourtUnited States District Courts. 4th Circuit. Southern District of West Virginia
Writing for the CourtBryan R. Cokeley, Steptoe & Johnson, Charleston, WV, for plaintiff
Citation843 F. Supp. 1089
PartiesZIMMER-HATFIELD, INC., Plaintiff, v. Brian WOLF, et al., Defendants.
Docket NumberCiv. A. No. 6:93-0537.
Decision Date18 February 1994

843 F. Supp. 1089

ZIMMER-HATFIELD, INC., Plaintiff,
v.
Brian WOLF, et al., Defendants.

Civ. A. No. 6:93-0537.

United States District Court, S.D. West Virginia, Parkersburg Division.

February 18, 1994.


Bryan R. Cokeley, Steptoe & Johnson, Charleston, WV, for plaintiff.

John J. Cowan, Charleston, WV, for defendant Wolf.

Lonnie C. Simmons and P. Rodney Jackson, DiTrapano & Jackson, Charleston, WV, for defendants Howmedica France & Kevin France.

843 F. Supp. 1090

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

HADEN, Chief Judge.

Pending before the Court is the Defendant's motion for summary judgment. The Plaintiff brought this action seeking injunctive and monetary relief for the alleged violation of a restrictive covenant not to compete on the part of the Defendant, a former employee. The Defendant asserts two basic reasons in support of his motion: (1) the Court lacks jurisdiction over this case because the amount in controversy is less than $50,000.00 pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a); and (2) the restrictive covenant is unreasonable and overbroad.

I.

JURISDICTION

The Defendant asserts the record shows the amount in controversy is less than $50,000.00, thus precluding the jurisdiction of this Court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a). The leading case from the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals discussing the determination of the amount in controversy is McDonald v. Patton, 240 F.2d 424, 425-26 (4th Cir.1957), which opines:

"It is the firmly established general rule of the federal courts that the Plaintiff's claim is the measure of the amount in controversy and determines the question of jurisdiction; and it is indisputably the law that if the ultimate recovery is for less than the amount claimed, this is immaterial on the question of jurisdiction.... From early days, the broad sweep of the rule has been subject to a qualification namely, that the plaintiff's claim must appear to be made in good faith.... Where it is plain that there is a mere pretense as to the amount in dispute, the amount of the claim will not avail to create jurisdiction, but where the plaintiff makes his claim in obvious good faith, it is sufficient for jurisdictional purposes; and this is so even where it is apparent on the face of the claim that the defendant has a valid defense.... In Smithers v. Smith, 204 U.S. 632, 644, 27 S.Ct. 297, 300, 51 L.Ed. 656 (1907), the Supreme Court said, ... that when a plaintiff in good faith asserts a claim in an amount within the jurisdiction of the Court, the Judge is forbidden `to interpose and try a sufficient part of the controversy between the parties to satisfy himself that the plaintiff ought to recover less than the jurisdictional amount, and to conclude, therefore, that the real controversy between the parties is concerning a subject of less than jurisdictional value.'
"In applying this test, it has been further recognized that while good faith is a salient factor, it alone does not control; for if it appears to a legal certainty that the plaintiff cannot recover the jurisdictional amount, the case will be dismissed for want of jurisdiction. Such is the doctrine laid down in St. Paul Mercury Indemnity Co. v. Red Cab Co., 303 U.S. 283, 289, 58 S.Ct. 586 590, 82 L.Ed. 845 (1938). However, the legal impossibility of recovery must be so certain as virtually to negative the plaintiff's good faith in asserting the claim. If the right of recovery is uncertain, the doubt should be resolved, for jurisdictional purposes, in favor of the subjective good faith of the plaintiff." (citations omitted).

See Wiggins v. North American Equitable Life Ins. Co., 644 F.2d 1014, 1016-17 (4th Cir.1981); Cale v. City of Covington, 586 F.2d 311, 312-13 (4th Cir.1978); Broglie v. MacKay-Smith, 541 F.2d 453, 455 (4th Cir. 1976); Deering Milliken Research Corporation v. Textured Fibres, Inc., 415 F.2d 875, 877 (4th Cir.1969); Gauldin v. Virginia Winn-Dixie, Inc., 370 F.2d 167, 170 (4th Cir.1966); Texas Eastern Transmission Corp. v. Giannaris, 818 F.Supp. 755, 758 (M.D.Pa.1993); Arias v. Solis, 754 F.Supp. 290, 292-93 (E.D.N.Y.1991); Steele v. Morris, 608 F.Supp. 274, 276 (S.D.W.Va.1985) (Haden, C.J.); Patrick v. Sharon Steel Corp., 549 F.Supp. 1259, 1261-62 (N.D. W.Va.1982) (Haden, C.J.); Cf. In re A.H....

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6 practice notes
  • Luna v. Kemira Specialty, Inc., Case No. CV 08-04908 MMM (JCx).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Central District of California
    • September 11, 2008
    ...Inc., 259 F.Supp.2d at 773; Basicomputer Corp. v. Scott, 791 F.Supp. 1280, 1286 (N.D.Ohio 1991); Zimmer-Hatfield, Inc. v. Wolf, 843 F.Supp. 1089, 1091 (S.D.W.Va.1994); and Wright, Miller & Cooper, supra, § 3708). "Courts have also examined the revenues generated by an employee and the reven......
  • Mailwaukee Mailing, Ship. and Equip. v. Neopost, No. 03-C-0240.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 7th Circuit. United States District Court of Eastern District of Wisconsin
    • April 24, 2003
    ...Indus. Corp. v. Tex. Indus. Fastener Co., 450 F.2d 444, 446-47 (5th Cir.1971); Hedberg, 350 F.2d at 930; Zimmer-Hatfield, Inc. v. Wolf, 843 F.Supp. 1089, 1091 (S.D.W.Va.1994); Zep Mfg. Corp. v. Haber, 202 F.Supp. 847, 848-49 (S.D.Tex.1962)); see also Basicomputer Corp. v. Scott, 973 F.2d 50......
  • Adkins v. Gibson, Civ. A. No. 2:95-0742.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. Southern District of West Virginia
    • November 24, 1995
    ...845 (1938); Wiggins v. North American Equitable Life Assur. Co., 644 F.2d 1014 (4th Cir.1981); accord Zimmer-Hatfield, Inc. v. Wolf, 843 F.Supp. 1089, 1090 (S.D.W.Va.1994) (Haden, C.J.); Steele v. Morris, 608 F.Supp. 274, 276 (S.D.W.Va. 1985) (Haden, "A defendant may remove a suit to federa......
  • Polino v. The Huntington Nat'l Bank, Civil Action 1:22-CV-13
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. Northern District of West Virginia
    • March 29, 2022
    ...not measurable in “dollars and cents” fails to meet the jurisdictional test of amount in controversy.'” Zimmer-Hatfield, Inc. v. Wolf, 843 F.Supp. 1089, 1090-91 (S.D. W.Va. 1994) (quoting McGaw v. Farrow, 472 F.2d 952, 954 (4th Cir. 1973)). In a removal action in which federal jurisdiction ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
6 cases
  • Luna v. Kemira Specialty, Inc., Case No. CV 08-04908 MMM (JCx).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Central District of California
    • September 11, 2008
    ...Inc., 259 F.Supp.2d at 773; Basicomputer Corp. v. Scott, 791 F.Supp. 1280, 1286 (N.D.Ohio 1991); Zimmer-Hatfield, Inc. v. Wolf, 843 F.Supp. 1089, 1091 (S.D.W.Va.1994); and Wright, Miller & Cooper, supra, § 3708). "Courts have also examined the revenues generated by an employee and the reven......
  • Mailwaukee Mailing, Ship. and Equip. v. Neopost, No. 03-C-0240.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 7th Circuit. United States District Court of Eastern District of Wisconsin
    • April 24, 2003
    ...Indus. Corp. v. Tex. Indus. Fastener Co., 450 F.2d 444, 446-47 (5th Cir.1971); Hedberg, 350 F.2d at 930; Zimmer-Hatfield, Inc. v. Wolf, 843 F.Supp. 1089, 1091 (S.D.W.Va.1994); Zep Mfg. Corp. v. Haber, 202 F.Supp. 847, 848-49 (S.D.Tex.1962)); see also Basicomputer Corp. v. Scott, 973 F.2d 50......
  • Adkins v. Gibson, Civ. A. No. 2:95-0742.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. Southern District of West Virginia
    • November 24, 1995
    ...845 (1938); Wiggins v. North American Equitable Life Assur. Co., 644 F.2d 1014 (4th Cir.1981); accord Zimmer-Hatfield, Inc. v. Wolf, 843 F.Supp. 1089, 1090 (S.D.W.Va.1994) (Haden, C.J.); Steele v. Morris, 608 F.Supp. 274, 276 (S.D.W.Va. 1985) (Haden, "A defendant may remove a suit to federa......
  • Polino v. The Huntington Nat'l Bank, Civil Action 1:22-CV-13
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. Northern District of West Virginia
    • March 29, 2022
    ...not measurable in “dollars and cents” fails to meet the jurisdictional test of amount in controversy.'” Zimmer-Hatfield, Inc. v. Wolf, 843 F.Supp. 1089, 1090-91 (S.D. W.Va. 1994) (quoting McGaw v. Farrow, 472 F.2d 952, 954 (4th Cir. 1973)). In a removal action in which federal jurisdiction ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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