Category Archives: Remand/Removal

Fraudulent Joinder Determination Turns Only on Factual and Legal Basis, Not Intent U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri, Central Division, October 3, 2017

MISSOURI — Kansas resident plaintiffs filed an action in the Circuit Court of Jackson County, Missouri, alleging mesothelioma and asbestosis arising out of work first performed in the state of Missouri. Two defendants named in the state court petition were also residents of Kansas, and the rest were from various states. Defendant Athene Annuity & Life Assurance Company removed the case on the basis of diversity. In response to the plaintiffs’ motion to remand, Athene alleged that the plaintiffs had no intention of prosecuting claims…

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Lack of Service on Forum Defendants Fails to Defeat Removal Due to Diversity Jurisdiction U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, September 30, 2017

LOUISIANA — The plaintiffs originally filed their petition in the Civil District Court for the Parish of Orleans, State of Louisiana, after William Leech died of mesothelioma. The plaintiffs were residents of Arizona and named numerous defendants, including three who were Louisiana residents. Nine days after the petition was filed, and before any other defendants were served, defendant Honeywell International removed the action to federal court on the basis of diversity jurisdiction, which was uncontested. The decedent was a construction engineer who alleged asbestos exposure…

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Court’s Refusal to Exercise Supplemental Jurisdiction Over Dismissed Defendant Leads to Remand U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, September 18, 2017

LOUISIANA — The plaintiff filed this action against several defendants, including Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa, Limited (IDC), alleging he developed lung cancer from exposure to asbestos containing products for which the defendants were responsible. Immediately after the suit was filed, the plaintiff moved to dismiss claims against IDC. A co-defendant stevedoring company filed a third party complaint for contribution and/or indemnification against IDC before the court ruled on the pending motion to dismiss. IDC then removed the case to federal court. The plaintiffs…

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Plaintiff Awarded Attorneys’ Fees and Costs for Improper Removal U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, September 15, 2017

WASHINGTON — Plaintiff Barbadin filed suit against defendants including Scapa Dryer Fabrics and AstenJohnsten, Inc. (defendants) alleging exposure to asbestos containing products for which the defendants were responsible. Scapa removed the matter on April 17, 2017.  The plaintiff quickly moved for remand and sought fees and costs. The court noted that it had previously remanded this case one time. The court concluded that Scapa had taken “inconsistent positions in an effort to keep this action in federal court” and used “untenable arguments.” The court also…

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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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Summary Judgment Recommended for Naval Boiler Manufacturer on Issues of Product Identification and Bare Metal Defense U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, August 21, 2017

The plaintiff filed suit alleging Mr. Tallman developed mesothelioma while serving in the U.S. Navy from 1947-67. Foster Wheeler removed the case to the United States District Court. Mr. Tallman served on board the USS Caloosahatchee as a boiler tender from 1948-56. Specifically, the plaintiff contended that Mr. Tallman’s mesothelioma developed as a result of exposure to asbestos for which Foster Wheeler was responsible. Two fact witnesses were offered for deposition. Mr. Nealon testified that he served on board the USS Caloosahatchee from 1951-54. He…

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Shipyard Fails to Show Nexus Required for Federal Jurisdiction U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, August 15, 2017

Plaintiff George K. Mayeaux alleged he suffered exposure to asbestos and asbestos-containing products that were manufactured, sold, installed, distributed, and/or supplied by a number of defendant companies while employed by defendant Avondale Industries, Inc. This matter was removed to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. The plaintiff filed a Motion to Remand back to the Civil District Court for the Parish of Orleans in Louisiana. The plaintiff alleged that he was employed by Avondale from 1963 to 2009. During that…

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Remand Granted Where Defendant Failed to Show Government Exercised Control Over Warnings and Safety U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, August 4, 2017

Plaintiff Robert Templet, Sr. alleged asbestos exposure during his work for defendant Avondale Industries, Inc. The plaintiff was employed by Avondale from 1968-2002, and later developed malignant pleural mesothelioma. Defendants Avondale and Lamorak Insurance Company removed to federal court due to the federal officer removal statute. The plaintiff moved to remand. The court granted the motion and remanded this case back to the State of Louisiana. Avondale based its removal on the plaintiff’s deposition testimony wherein he testified that they worked on Navy Destroyer Escorts…

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Possibility of Successor Liability Enough to Defeat Diversity Jurisdiction U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, June 28, 2017

The plaintiffs alleged Maynard Herman contracted mesothelioma due to occupational asbestos exposure. Defendants removed on the basis of diversity, and the plaintiffs moved to remand. The court granted the remand. The defendants argued that defendant Ametek, Inc., although a citizen of Pennsylvania, was fraudulently joined to defeat diversity. The plaintiffs argued Ametek was not fraudulently joined because it was the successor for Mr. Herman’s exposure to asbestos products made by Haveg Industries. The plaintiffs acknowledged that when Ametek purchased Haveg, the agreement facially concerned only…

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Wrong Standard Applied in Remanding Case against Boiler Manufacturer to State Court; Remand Reversed United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit June 22, 2017

Decedent Joseph Morris worked as a shipbuilder at the Bethlehem Steel Sparrows Point Shipyard from 1948-1970s, and died of mesothelioma in 2015. The plaintiffs commenced this action in Maryland state court, and Foster Wheeler removed pursuant to government contractor immunity. The district court remanded to state court because Foster Wheeler did not make a sufficient showing that it had a colorable federal defense; Foster Wheeler appealed. The Fourth Circuit concluded that the district court applied the wrong standard for determining removability and reversed and remanded…

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