Wednesday, October 4, 2023
Courthouse News Service
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Shot Football Fan’s Case Isn’t Fit for Federal Court

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) - A California man who was allegedly shot in the parking lot outside a 49ers preseason game must sue in state court, a federal judge ruled.

In his June 2013 federal complaint, Daniel Long claimed that he was shot four times while trying to rescue a companion from a parking-lot beating after an Aug. 12, 2011, game between the 49ers and Oakland Raiders.

Long said the 49ers did not conduct weapon searches of cars entering the parking lot, as other NFL teams do, nor did they warn him that the parking lot was not safe.

U.S. District Judge Edward Chen ruled Wednesday that the court lacked subject matter jurisdiction because "complete diversity is lacking."

Diversity jurisdiction in federal court requires that each defendant must be a citizen of a different state from each plaintiff, and limited liability companies are considered members of every state in which its general and limited partners are citizens.

Here Long is a resident of California, but only one of the defendants he named lacks roots in the Golden State.

Forty Niners Football Co. informed the court that it has only one member, Forty Niners Holding LP, and that its limited partners, Gideon Yu and Mark Wan, are residents of California.

John York, the general partner whom Long sued, is an Ohio resident.

Judge Chen found that, "because Forty Niners Holdings LP is deemed to be a citizen of California, Defendant Forty Niners Football Company LLC is also deemed to be a citizen of California. Because Plaintiff and one of the Defendants are both citizens of California, complete d iversity is lacking, and this court lacks subject matter jurisdiction."

Long was represented by Geoffrey Becker with Becker & Becker, of Lafayette, Calif. Becker told Courthouse News that his client plans on either reinstating a 2011 suit from San Francisco County Superior Court, or filing a new action in that court. Becker had that suit dismissed voluntarily in July after finding out that Delaware-based Forty Niners Holding LP succeeded San Francisco 49ers Ltd.

He then filed the federal action.

The defendants were represented by Matthew Conant of Lombardi Loper Conant in Oakland. Conant did not return a request for comment.

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