Passa v. Derderian
United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island
308 F. Supp. 2d 43 (D.R.I. 2004)
A fire broke out at a Rhode Island nightclub owned by Derderian (defendant) when band members ignited pyrotechnics onstage. The fire killed 100 people and injured about 200 others, including Passa (plaintiff). Victims of the fire filed tort claims in state and federal courts against a multitude of defendants, including Derderian, the band members, the band’s manager, and many others. The federal court’s jurisdiction to hear five of these cases, including Passa’s case against Derderian, was called into question. Several parties in these cases opposed the federal court asserting jurisdiction and moved to dismiss and/or remand for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The court held that original federal jurisdiction was proper in these cases based on the Multiparty, Multiforum, Trial Jurisdiction Act of 2002 (MMTJA), which gives federal courts broader jurisdiction over cases stemming from a disaster that kills over 75 people The court held that the exception within the MMTJA requiring a federal court to abstain did not apply in these cases. The motions to dismiss or remand these cases were denied because the federal court had original jurisdiction under the MMTJA to hear these cases.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Lagueux, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 175,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,000 briefs, keyed to 188 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.