Illinois Central R. Co. v. Sheegog - 215 U.S. 308 (1909)
U.S. Supreme Court
Illinois Central R. Co. v. Sheegog, 215 U.S. 308 (1909)
Illinois Central Railroad Company v. Sheegog
Argued December 12, 1909
Decided December 20, 1909
215 U.S. 308
Where the joinder of the resident and the nonresident defendants prevents removal to the federal court, the fact that, on the trial, the jury finds against the nonresident defendant only has no bearing on the question of removal if the joinder was not fraudulent.
Allegations of fact, so far as material in a petition to remove, if controverted, must be tried in the federal court, and therefore must be taken to be true when the state court fails to consider them.
A plaintiff may sue the tortfeasors jointly if he sees fit, regardless of motive, and an allegation that resident and nonresident tortfeasors are sued for the purpose of preventing removal to the federal court is not a sufficient allegation that the joinder was fraudulent.
A lessor railroad company remains responsible, so far as its duty to the public is concerned, notwithstanding it may lease its road, unless relieved by a statute of the state.
Whether defendants can be sued jointly as tortfeasors is for the state court to decide, and so held that, where the state court decides that a lessor road in that state is responsible for keeping its roadbed in order, the joinder of both lessor and lessee road in a suit for damages caused by imperfect roadbed and management is not fraudulent, and the lessee road, although nonresident, cannot remove if the lessor road is resident.
126 Ky. 252 affirmed.
The facts are stated in the opinion.