Category Archives: Louisiana

U.S. District Court Applies Foreign State Removal and Denies Plaintiff’s Motion for Remand U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, July 14, 2016

The plaintiff brought an action against multiple defendants for his alleged occupational exposure to lung cancer while working as a longshoreman for different stevedoring companies from 1954-1979. Included with the numerous defendants was Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa, Ltd. (IDC) and South African Marine. The plaintiff’s claims included negligence, strict liability, intentional tort, and premises liability. Specific to IDC and South African Marine, the plaintiff asserted claims under the Jones Act. Immediately after filing suit, the plaintiff filed a motion to dismiss his claims…

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Preclusion of Plaintiff’s Causation Expert Upheld on Appeal Due to Failure to Consider Decedent’s Smoking History Court of Appeal of Louisiana, Fourth Circuit, June 22, 2016

The plaintiffs, Dwayne Bourdeaux, Gerilyn Cook, and Bryan Bourdeaux, Individually and as Proper Parties in Interest for Gerald Bourdeaux, filed suit in Louisiana alleging that Gerald Bourdeaux lung cancer diagnosis and eventual death was asbestos exposure.  In support of this claim, the plaintiffs offered Dr. Gerald E. Liuzza, a pathologist, as an expert witness to establish the causative link between the asbestos exposure and lung cancer. Defendant Trinity Industries, Inc. filed a motion in limine to preclude Dr. Liuzza from testifying at trial on the…

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Issue of Foreseeable Duty to be Determined by a Jury in Take-Home Exposure Case Against Plant Where Decedent’s Husband Worked Court of Appeal of Louisiana, Fourth Circuit, May 4, 2016

The plaintiffs’ decedent, Elizabeth Sutherland, alleged take-home exposure to asbestos from her first husband’s work clothes. The plaintiff’s first husband, James “Huey” Chustz, worked as an electrician helper for Hershel Leonard Jr. Electric Company from 1964-72. At minimum, he spent 250 days at the sugar mill Alma Plantation, LLC, where he would become covered in dust from coming into contact with pipes. After dismissal of various parties and claims, the only claim remaining against Alma was if it owed a foreseeable duty to the decedent.…

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U.S. District Court Exercises Supplemental Jurisdiction and Denies Plaintiff’s Motion to Remand U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, March 31, 2016

In this case, the plaintiff, Frank Williams, brought an action in the Civil District Court for the Parish of Orleans for exposure to asbestos while working as a mechanical engineer for Lockheed Martin. Lockheed Martin removed the case to on the basis of a potential federal defense. The plaintiff filed a motion to remand, but the court declined to decide the motion and transferred the case to the Eastern District of Pennsylvania for consolidation into the Multi District Litigation “MDL.” Judge Robreno denied the motion…

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Motion to Remand Granted Based on Supporting Documents Showing Asbestos Work of Non-Diverse Defendant and Early Stage of Discovery U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, March 4, 2016

In this case, the plaintiff alleged exposure through his father’s work close from 1953 through the 1970s. The plaintiff’s father worked at the Exxon Baton Rouge facility. The plaintiff also claimed exposure to asbestos as an adult while working as a carpenter at various residential construction sites and as a contractor at Exxon between 1965 through 1978. Defendant Exxon removed the action to federal court based on diversity with the consent of defendants Georgia-Pacific, LLC and Union Carbide Corporation . The plaintiff subsequently moved to…

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District Court Relies on Plain Language of Forum-Defendant Rule in Denying Plaintiff’s Emergency Motion to Remand U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, February 29, 2016

The plaintiff filed an asbestos-related lawsuit in Louisiana state court. Defendant Honeywell filed a notice of removal on the basis of diversity, without knowing that its registered agent in Louisiana was personally served one day before filing the removal. At the time of removal, no other defendant had been served. The plaintiff filed a motion to remand, arguing that Honeywell could not remove because one of the defendants (Burmaster) was a resident of Louisiana. The plaintiff also argued Honeywell “jumped the gun” by removing before…

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Inherent Difficulties with Discovery In Latent Disease Cases Key to Allowing Plaintiffs to Amend Pleadings After Scheduling Order Deadline U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, February 26, 2016

The decedent was a career aircraft mechanic at Belle Chasse Air Force Base, and died of mesothelioma. The decedent’s heirs sued nine defendants in state court for asbestos exposure; defendant Boeing Company removed to federal court. After the deadline to amend pleadings, the plaintiffs filed an unopposed motion to continue the trial date so that they could add the manufacturers of additional aircrafts, and to establish a new scheduling order and trial date. The court declined to continue the trial date, but allowed the plaintiffs…

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Case Against Crane Remanded to State Court Based on Lack of Evidence of the Exercise of Government Discretion Under the Federal Officer Removal Statute U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, December 23, 2015

In this case, the plaintiff alleged asbestos exposure from various sources, including from his time aboard Naval vessels during the Korean War. Defendant Crane removed the case to federal court pursuant to 28 U.S.C.1442(a)(1), the federal officer removal statute.  The plaintiff moved to remand the case, arguing that Crane did not meet the standard to remove under the statute. In opposition to the remand, Crane submitted a 2011 affidavit from one of its officers stating that “the manufacture of equipment for use on Navy vessels…

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Co-Defendant’s Bankruptcy Filing Did Not Result In A “Certain and Final Dismissal” For Purposes Of Removal Under Diversity Jurisdiction U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, November 10, 2015

The plaintiff and his wife commenced this action in Louisiana state court, alleging that his mesothelioma was caused by his exposure to several asbestos-containing products, including products supplied by various Louisiana companies. At the time of commencement, diversity jurisdiction did not exist and the action was therefore not removable to federal court. Several defendants settled, leaving defendants Foster Wheeler and Eagle as the only remaining defendants.  oster Wheeler is a diverse company for purposes of removal, Eagle is not. Eagle filed for bankruptcy during the…

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Merchant Mariner Plaintiffs’ Allegations Focusing on Vessel Operation — Instead of Vessel Design — Prohibited Removal Under Federal Officer Removal Statute U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, Louisiana, October 19, 2015

This is a consolidated case in which various plaintiffs alleged asbestos exposure while working as merchant mariners aboard many different vessels and employers. Each plaintiff also served on at least one Navy ship. The plaintiffs sued their former employers in Louisiana state court under the Jones Act and general maritime law. The defendants removed to federal court, and the district court remanded. The 5th Circuit held that remand was proper. The defendants argued for removal under the Federal Officer Removal Statute, in which actions…

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