Smith and Roberson’s Business Law Summarize Concurrent Federal Jurisdiction in the case of Regina White v. FCI USA, INC. 2003
In the case of Regina White v. FCI USA, INC. 2003, the plaintiff Regina White filed a suit against FCI USA, Inc. for wrongful termination of her employment on 29th March, 2001. She brought the suit stating wrongful termination for her refusal to perform illegal activities for the employer. She was suing FCI for an undetermined amount for punitive damages, prejudiced interest, attorney’s fee, court’s cost, lost fringe benefits and lost pay, loss of earning capacity, mental anguish, harm to her credit reputation, and emotional distress.
FCI on the other hand, tried to remove the case to a federal district court on the basis of diversity, stating the amount demanded by White exceeded $75000. White filed a motion to oppose this removal but the district court concluded that the damages sought will exceed $75000 in all likelihood. They did note that the damages didn’t yet exceed the amount but they would probably at the time of the trial.
This case hence highlighted that federal diversity jurisdiction exists if the preponderance of the evidence indicates that the amount in the controversy is over $75,000. The district court needs to examine if it is “facially apparent” that the claims exceed the jurisdictional amount, and if not, the court has to rely on the “summary-judgment” evidence to determine the amount in controversy.