United States District Court, S.D. New York
OPINION & ORDER
A. Engelmayer United States District Judge
case involves claims of rape, abuse, and harassment by the
movie producer Harvey Weinstein. Plaintiff Alexandra Canosa
brings claims not only against Weinstein, but also against
two of his companies and their board members. She alleges
their complicity in and facilitation of his acts. Pending now
is Canosa's motion to remand this case to New York state
court, from which it was removed by a defendant. For the
reasons explained below, the Court denies that motion,
holding that removal was proper. This case will now proceed
in this Court.
Background A. Facts 
The Complaint's Allegations
April 30, 2018, Canosa filed her Complaint in New York State
Supreme Court in Manhattan. The Complaint alleges that, since
2010, Canosa has worked in various capacities for Weinstein
and two companies affiliated with him: The Weinstein Company
Holdings LLC ("TWC Holdings") and The Weinstein
Company LLC ("TWC," and together, "TWC"
or the "Company"). Dkt. 1 (Notice of Removal), Ex.
A ("Compl.") ¶ 1. It alleges that, between
approximately August 2010 and June 2015, Weinstein verbally
abused, sexually assaulted, and raped Canosa in hotel rooms
in Los Angeles, New York, Malaysia, and Budapest.
Id. ¶¶ 28-37. The Complaint further
alleges that Weinstein threatened Canosa with the loss of her
job and other retaliation were she were to tell anyone about
his abuse. Id. ¶¶ 27, 38. This, the
Complaint alleges, was in keeping with Weinstein's common
practice of making "quid pro quo offers or
demands for sexual favors in exchange for career
advancement" at TWC. Id. ¶ 41; see
Id. ¶ 42.
Complaint alleges that TWC, its executives, and its directors
knew, or should have known, of Weinstein's abuse of
Canosa (and others) and that they did nothing to stop or
prevent it. Id. ¶¶ 40, 49. In particular,
it alleges, the Company facilitated Weinstein's meetings
in hotel rooms with women, knowing that he used these
meetings for perpetrating abuse; paid off victims of
Weinstein's abuse without imposing corrective measures to
guard against abuse; continued to allow Weinstein "to
operate improperly"; and attempted to keep his abusive
behavior a secret. Id. ¶ 51; see Id.
Complaint further alleges that the Company's directors
"solicited, requested, commanded, importuned, or
intentionally aided Harvey Weinstein in engaging in the
illicit conduct" alleged. These directors, as alleged,
are Robert Weinstein (who is Harvey Weinstein's brother
and the chairman of the brothers' production company,
Miramax); Dirk Ziff; Tim Sarnoff; Marc Lasry; Tarak Ben
Ammar; Lance Maerov; Richard Koenigsberg; Jeff Sackman; and
James Dolan (together, the "Directors").
Id. ¶¶ 86, 119; see Id.
¶¶ 13, 15-22. The Complaint alleges that the
Directors had notice of Harvey Weinstein's conduct and
failed to investigate further, id. ¶¶ 88,
121, instead relying on non-disclosure agreements in
settlements with his victims to prevent others from
discovering his abuse, id. ¶¶ 99, 132.
Complaint brings 12 state-law causes of action against the
defendants. These include battery, assault, intentional and
negligent infliction of emotional distress, negligent
supervision and retention, aiding and abetting, sexual
harassment, quid pro quo harassment, discrimination in
violation of both the New York State and New York City Human
Rights Laws, hostile work environment, and ratification.
Id. ¶¶ 170-374. The Complaint seeks to
hold all defendants vicariously liable for the conduct of the
others. See id.
The Bankruptcy Proceedings
March 19, 2018, after this action had been initiated, TWC and
TWC Holdings filed voluntary petitions for relief, under
Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, in the United States
Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. In re The
Weinstein Company Holdings LLC, et al, No. 18-10601
(MFW) (Bankr. D. Del.). That filing has the effect, pursuant
to 11 U.S.C. § 362, of automatically staying this case
(and other parallel civil actions, described below) as
against TWC and TWC Holdings (but not as to any other
case is one of several similar actions brought against Harvey
Weinstein, TWC, and its directors. In this District, four
other actions are currently pending:
• On November 14, 2017, Doe v. The Weinstein Company
LLC, 18 Civ. 5414 (RA), was filed in the Superior Court
of the State of California, Los Angeles County. On May 3,
2018, the case was removed to the United States District
Court for the Central District of California pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1452(a). The Complaint in that action, too,
names TWC, TWC Holdings, and the individual defendants named
in this action, as defendants. On June 14, 2018, on Sarnoff s
motion, the Central District of California (Fitzgerald,
J.) transferred this case under 28 U.S.C. §
1412, to the Southern District of New York.
• On November 27, 2017, Noble v. Weinstein, 17
Civ. 9260 (RWS) was filed in this District. That suit names
Harvey Weinstein, Robert Weinstein, TWC and TWC Holdings, but
not the other directors, as defendants. It brings claims
under the federal sex-trafficking statute, 18 U.S.C. §
• On December 6, 2017, Geiss v. The Weinstein
Company Holdings LLC, 17 Civ. 9554 (AKH), was filed in
this District as a putative class action. It asserts federal
claims (including under the federal racketeering statute), as
well as state claims, against TWC, TWC Holdings, and the
individual defendants named in this action. Between February
and April 2018, defendants in Geiss filed a series
of motions to dismiss. On June 19, 2018, plaintiffs in
Geiss informed the district court that, upon
plaintiffs' motion in the bankruptcy court, the
bankruptcy court had lifted the automatic bankruptcy stay to
allow plaintiffs to pursue their claims in Geiss
against TWC Holdings.
• Finally, on June 1, 2018, Dulany v. Miramax Film
NY, LLC, 18 Civ. 4857 (AKH), was filed in this District
as a putative class action. Like Geiss, the
complaint in Dulany brings claims under both federal
law (including the federal racketeering statute) and state
law against TWC, TWC Holdings, and the individual defendants
named in this action. The Dulany complaint also
names as defendants Miramax Film NY, LLC, The Walt Disney
Company, and Disney Enterprises, Inc.
Dulany and Geiss cases have been assigned
to the Hon. Alvin K. Hellerstein. The Doe case has
been assigned to the Hon. Ronnie Abrams. The Noble
case has been assigned to the Hon. Robert W.
Procedural History of This Action
December 20, 2017, Canosa brought this action (assigned index
no. 161254/2017) via a summons in the New York State Supreme
Court in Manhattan. See Notice of Removal, Ex. C. On
January 4, 2018, Canosa filed an amended summons, which added
as defendants Dolan, Sackman, and TWC. Id., Ex. B.
early April 2018, counsel for several defendants appeared in
state court and entered demands for the complaint.
Id., Ex. D. On April 30, 2018, Canosa filed the
initial complaint in state court. See id., Ex. A.
8, 2018, Sarnoff removed this action to this Court, invoking
the Court's jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1452.
See Notice of Removal.
6, 2018, Canosa and Lasry filed a stipulation agreeing to
dismiss, without prejudice, Canosa's claims against
Lasry. Dkt. 30. On June 8, Canosa and Dolan similarly agreed
to dismiss, without prejudice, Canosa's claims against
Dolan. Dkt. 36.
7, 2018, Canosa filed a motion to remand this case to state
court, Dkt. 32, as well as a memorandum of law, Dkt. 33