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Spencer v. U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
393 F.3d 867 (9th Cir. 2004)


Facts

Lindsay C. Spencer was an electrical lineman for Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG & E). Spencer was killed while working after being ejected from a lift bucket. Spencer’s son and estate (plaintiffs) sued Altec Industries (Altec), the manufacturer of the lift bucket, under a products liability theory in a California state court. Altec removed the case to the United States District Court for the Northern District of California (defendant) based on diversity jurisdiction. The plaintiffs were citizens of Alaska, and Altec was a citizen of Alabama. The plaintiffs subsequently moved to amend their complaint to add PG & E as a defendant. The plaintiffs also moved to remand the case to state court, arguing that because PG & E was a citizen of California, its joinder would destroy federal removal jurisdiction. The district court granted the motion to join PG & E but denied the motion for remand. The plaintiffs filed for a writ of mandamus requiring the district court to remand the case to state court.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Thompson, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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