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Court Sends Construction Defect Case from Kansas to Missouri

August 2, 2012 — CDJ Staff

The United State Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit has ruled in Mid-Continent Casualty Company v. The Village at Deer Creek Homeowners Association. The prior case was heard by the United States District Court for the District of Kansas. In this appeal, Mid-Continent sought a declaratory judgement. The Village at Deer Creek Homeowners Association moved to dismiss, and the district court had granted this, giving jurisdiction to the Missouri state courts.

The homeowners association had sued Greater Midwest Builders, Ltd., who had constructed the subdivision, in the Kansas state courts. The suit ended with a verdict against Greater Midwest for more than $7 million. The association and other plaintiffs in that case filed for equitable garnishment against State Auto, Mid-Continent, and Greater Midwest. State Auto removed the garnishment action to federal court in Missouri. Mid-Continent moved to sever the actions against it and transfer the case to the District of Kansas.

Subsequently, the plaintiffs filed a notice of voluntary dismissal in the Western District of Missouri. A second garnishment action followed in which Mid-Continent was named as an additional plaintiff. State Auto again removed to the Western District of Missouri, while Mid-Continent moved to sever and transfer to the District of Kansas. The Kansas court granted the association’s motion to dismiss.

In the appeal, Mid-Continent sought a declaratory judgment. This was denied by the appeals court. The district court “concluded that the Missouri courts were better situated to provide complete relief to all parties involved in the coverage dispute.” The appeals court affirmed the association’s movement to dismiss. Mid-Continent’s motion was denied as moot.

Read the court's decision…

Court Sends Construction Defect Case from Kansas to Missouri