Category Archives: Federal Officer Jurisdiction

Turbine Manufacturer’s Choice of Law Motion Granted Based on Location of Asbestos Exposure and Diagnosis U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, May 9, 2018

MASSACHUSETTS — Plaintiff Ruth Burleigh, the widow of the plaintiff’s decedent Ernest Burleigh, filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts against numerous defendants alleging that decedent developed mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos while working as a mechanic at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (the shipyard) from 1960-1981. The shipyard is located in Kittery, Maine, approximately 20 miles from the Massachusetts border. The plaintiff’s decedent alleged exposure to asbestos in Maine only, was a resident of Maine for the…

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Cases Remanded After Court Determines Defendant Shipbuilder Controlled Safety Procedures U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, April 11, 2018

LOUISIANA — The Eastern District of Louisiana granted motions to remand in two separate mesothelioma cases arising out of alleged exposure to asbestos through work for defendant Avondale Industries, Inc., a shipbuilder for the United States Navy. Each plaintiff originally filed their actions in state court, alleging that Avondale failed to warn of the hazards of asbestos and failed to implement proper safety procedures for the handling of asbestos. Avondale removed the matter to federal court on federal officer jurisdiction. In remanding, the court focused…

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Insulation Used On Nuclear Prototype “Ordinary Consumer Product” and Not Subject to Military Contractor Defense U.S. District Court, Central District of California, August 21, 2017

Plaintiffs Wayne and Tina Yocum filed a renewed motion to remand which defendant CBS Corporation (Westinghouse) opposed. Wayne Yocum was diagnosed with mesothelioma and died on February 5, 2017. Without oral argument, the court granted the plaintiffs’ renewed motion to remand. Wayne Yocum served in the Navy from 1965-75. Westinghouse supplied the asbestos-containing insulation that was used in his presence during his naval training on the A1W, a working prototype of a nuclear propulsion system. The plaintiffs originally filed this action in California, and only…

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Federal Court Defines “Other Paper” in Removal Statute § 1446 U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana, June 21, 2017

The plaintiff filed a petition for damages in the 18th Judicial District Court for the Parish of Iberville on February 23, 2017, and named Avondale, among others, as a defendant. The plaintiff alleged he contracted mesothelioma during his employment with Avondale caused by “dangerously high levels of toxic substances, including asbestos and asbestos containing products, in the normal course of his work.” Defendant Avondale filed a notice of removal to the United States District Court of Louisiana on April 28, 2017 under the federal…

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Timely Removed Take-Home Exposure Case Remanded for Failure to Establish Colorable Federal Defense U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, June 19, 2017

The plaintiffs filed suit against several defendants including Avondale alleging that their decedent, Ms. Blouin, contracted mesothelioma after washing the laundry of her husband’s work clothes. Victor Blouin worked as an electrician for Avondale onboard two government vessels from April 1972 until August 1972. The plaintiffs’ claims were brought in negligence and not for strict liability. Avondale removed the case to federal court on March 28, 2017, 26 days after receiving a copy of the deposition transcript. The plaintiffs’ moved to remand. The plaintiffs took…

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Abandonment of Claims Alleging Asbestos Exposure at Government Facilities Eliminated Federal Jurisdiction U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, May 31, 2017

Defendant Crane Co. appealed the remand ordered by the district court to New York State Court. Crane had removed based upon the federal officer removal statute. The appellate court affirmed the remand without a summary of the underlying facts. First, Crane argued remand was erroneous because the federal courts had original subject matter jurisdiction. The district court had concluded that the plaintiffs had abandoned any claims arising from asbestos exposure occurring at a government facility; thus, the basis on which this action was originally removed…

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Court Denies Defendant’s Motion to Apply Federal Maritime Law U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, December 29, 2016

Plaintiffs Ralph Elliott Shaw and Joan Sanderson Shaw initiated this action by filing a complaint in the Superior Court of Delaware on February 26, 2015 asserting various causes of action arising out of Mr. Shaw’s alleged exposure to asbestos throughout his employment. Specifically, the plaintiff’s allegations include Mr. Shaw’s occupational exposure as a sheet metal worker in Groton, Connecticut from approximately 1952 to 1954 and 1957 to 1967. Mr. Shaw alleged exposure to asbestos throughout his employment, at various submarine factories and shipyards with respect…

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Remand Denied Under Federal Officer Jurisdiction Analysis for Plaintiff Alleging Asbestos Exposure in U.S. Navy U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division, December 27, 2016

Plaintiff Marc Killiam served in the U.S. Navy from 1973 to 1977 aboard the USS McCandless while at sea and in the Philadelphia Navy Yard. He alleges that as a boiler tender he removed and replaced various asbestos containing products and that exposure to asbestos from those products caused his asbestosis. He filed suit in Hillsborough County, Florida on September 26, 2016 against various defendants, including Crane Co. Crane removed the case to the U.S. District Court on October 13, 2016 pursuant to 28 U.S.C.…

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Broad Interpretation of the Federal Officer Removal Statute Keeps Case Against Boeing in Federal Court U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, November 22, 2016

The plaintiff filed a failure-to-warn product liability suit against, among others, The Boeing Company, after his wife Mary became ill from alleged secondary asbestos exposure. Boeing removed to federal court based upon the federal officer removal statute. The district court remanded, and the appellate court reversed. The plaintiff alleged Mary suffered take home asbestos exposure through laundering the clothes of her first husband Robert Keck. While working for New Brunswick Plating Co. in the late 1970s, Keck sandblasted the landing gear of World War II…

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Federal Court Denies Remand on Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act Jurisdiction and Dismisses Fraud Counts of Complaint U.S. District Court for Eastern District Of Louisiana, November 17, 2016

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana issued two opinions in the matter of Sheppard v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co., et al. which denied the plaintiffs’ motion to remand and dismissed the plaintiffs’ fraud cause of action against the defendants. Plaintiff Jesse Frank Sheppard originally filed in the Civil District Court for the Parish of Orleans. Sheppard alleged that he developed lung cancer and/or mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos while working for Freeport Sulphur Company. The plaintiff sued…

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