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SHELLEY v. THE MACCABEES

November 10, 1959

George SHELLEY, Plaintiff,
v.
THE MACCABEES, Emile A. Haar, David A. Hersh, Robert E. Morris, R.B. Twogood, R. L. Kester, L. F. Ayer, C. Robert Young, A. F. Devine and Joseph E. Navarre, Defendants



The opinion of the court was delivered by: BRUCHHAUSEN

The plaintiff, a citizen of New York, moves for the remand of this action to a State court from which it was removed upon the application of the defendant, The Maccabees, a Michigan corporation.

The said defendant caused its removal to this court, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. ยง 1441(c), reading as follows:

'Whenever a separate and independent claim or cause of action, which would be removable if sued upon alone, is joined with one or more otherwise non-removable claims or causes of action, the entire case may be removed and the district court may determine all issues therein, or, in its discretion, may remand all matters not otherwise within its original jurisdiction.'

 The issue presented for determination is whether the complaint comprises an independent cause of action against The Maccabees for breach of contract. It is not disputed that the claims against the individual defendants for inducing breach of contract, if sued upon alone, would be removable.

 The first cause of action, alleged in the complaint, in substance is as follows:

 1. That The Maccabees entered into an agreement to sell to plaintiff for the sum of $ 1,198,000 certain insurance commissions to which he was entitled.

 2. That four of the individual defendants agreed to and did persuade the other individual defendants, directors of The Maccabees, to vote to cancel said agreement.

 3. That the defendants, individually and jointly, wrongfully and maliciously, interfered with the contractual relations between The Maccabees and plaintiff and induced The Maccabees to breach the agreement by improperly voting to cancel it.

 4. That by reason thereof plaintiff was damaged in the sum of $ 1,198,000 for which recovery is demanded against the defendants.

 The second cause of action is similar to the first excepting that it pertains to a separate contract for the sale by the plaintiff to The Maccabees of his personal property and the goodwill of his business for the sum of $ 1,000,000, for which recovery is demanded against the defendants.

 The third cause of action likewise pertains to a contract between plaintiff and The Maccabees, whereby plaintiff was employed as a manager of The Maccabees insurance activities in three named States at an annual salary, the amount whereof is not stated, with an expense allowance, commissions and a bonus arrangement. The defendants are charged with inducing a breach and damages are sought against them in the sum of $ 3,000,000.

 The fourth cause of action sets forth a conspiracy by the defendants to destroy plaintiff's business and abrogate the various contracts and $ 6,000,000 damages are sought from the defendants therefor.

 The aforesaid statute is construed in the cases of American Fire & Casualty Co. v. Finn, 341 U.S. 6, 71 S. Ct. 534, 95 L. Ed. 702, and Baltimore S.S. Co. v. Phillips, 274 ...


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