Issue of Diversity in a Prisoner's Case Against an Attorney and Workers' Compensation Case

By FindLaw Staff on March 24, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

The First Circuit decided a case brought by a pro se prisoner against an attorney and a flight attendant's action for negligence against Delta Air Lines for her injuries despite having received a lump sum payment under Delta's workers' compensation policy.

In Hall v. Curran, No. 09-1354, the court dealt with a diversity issue in a pro se prisoner's action against an attorney for the New Hampshire Department of Corrections claiming fraud, breach of contract and tortious interference with beneficial contractual relations.  In affirming the district court's dismissal of the action for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, the court held that the plaintff failed to rebut the presumption that he is a citizen of New Hampshire, which was his domicile prior to his incarceration in New York.

In Roberts v. Delta Air Lines, Inc., 09-1045, the court faced a challenge to the district court's entry of summary judgment in favor of defendant-Delta Air Lines in plaintiff's suit for negligence for her injuries while working as a flight attendant, even though she already receiveda lump sum workers' compensation payment from Delta and the company it owned.  In affirming the decision, the court held that plaintiff was Delta's employee at all pertinent times, plaintiff was under Delta's direction and control and she had obligations to Delta in the performance of her duties.  Therefore, plaintiff's suit against Delta is barred under the Massachusetts workers' compensation law.

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