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Essex Ins. Co. v. Parnell, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 79080 (D. Miss. 2006)

Plaintiff filed a wrongful death action against nursing home alleging the nursing home and its employees were responsible for her father’s death. Essex Insurance filed a declaratory judgment action seeking a determination of its duties of defense and indemnity. Plaintiff in the underlying action against the nursing home moved to dismiss the claim or, in the alternative, remand its to State court. The motion to remand was denied because remand is only available when the action was first removed from State court. Citing St. Paul Ins. Co. v. Trejo, 39 F.3d 585 (5th Cir. 1994), which used a seven factor test for determining whether to retain jurisdiction in a declaratory judgment action, the Court denied Plaintiff’s motion to dismiss and retained jurisdiction over the declaratory judgment action because it was not evident that all matters relating to the declaratory judgment action would be fully litigated in the underlying action, Essex’s decision to seek a coverage determination was not demonstrably linked to threatened litigation by the insured, there was no evidence of forum shopping, federal court was equally convenient, retaining jurisdiction served judicial economy, and early resolution of the declaratory judgment action would work to the advantage of all parties.

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