Remand Motion Denied In Action Removed on Diversity Grounds

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, August 28, 2020

The state court matter of Paul Hotard was removed by a defendant to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana on diversity grounds. The plaintiff filed a motion seeking to remand the matter to state court because, the plaintiff argued, the “removing party … was not identified as a defendant in the petition.” (Id., at p. 51). The defendant, in turn, argued that removal was proper as per “Louisiana’s system …

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Delaware Court Upholds Jury Verdict in Favor of Auto Mechanic

DELAWARE — Following up on a prior ACT post, where a Delaware jury returned a verdict of over $40 Million in favor of the widow of a deceased auto mechanic, defendant, who was attributed a liability share of 20 percent, filed a renewed motion for judgment as a matter of law under Rule 50(b) and a motion for a new trial, or in the alternative, remittitur. The defendant argued among other things, that the jury’s verdict was irreconcilably inconsistent and the amount of damages …

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Pump Defendants Granted Summary Judgment in Maritime Asbestos Claim

DELAWARE — The plaintiffs initially filed suit in the Superior Court of Delaware on November 2, 2016 against various defendants asserting claims arising out of an alleged exposure to asbestos suffered by the plaintiff Earl Janis, Jr. (Janis).  The case was removed to federal court on February 16, 2017 pursuant to the federal officer removal statute under U.S.C. §§ 1442(a)(1).  On June 4, 2018, three similarly situated defendants (manufacturers of pumps located on naval ships) filed summary judgment motions that are at issue in this …

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Plaintiff’s Experts Precluded for Untimely Disclosure

LOUISIANA — The plaintiff Victor Michel (plaintiff) initially filed suit in state court on July 28, 2017, alleging asbestos exposure as a result of his work as a mechanic and generator service technician from 1965-2005. The defendants removed the case to federal court on May 8, 2018. After the case was removed to federal court, a status conference was held at which the court asked the parties to notify it of any remaining discovery. There was no discussion as to any further expert discovery. The …

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Defense Verdict for Johnson & Johnson in California Asbestos-Talc Case

CALIFORNIA — On November 14, 2018, before the Honorable Timothy Canning, a Northern California state jury returned a defense verdict in favor of Johnson & Johnson (J&J). The jury found the defendant not liable for the plaintiff Carla Allen’s mesothelioma. The plaintiff initially filed suit earlier this year, pleading both negligence and strict liability causes of action, and alleged that defendants knew its talcum products contained asbestos and were likely hazardous to the health of consumers. The main allegation in this case centered on the …

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Testimony of Plaintiff’s Key Witness is Inadmissible Hearsay; Court Reverses Judgment in Mesothelioma Claim

CALIFORNIA — In the matter of Frank C. Hart, he Court of Appeal, First District, Division 5, California reversed a lower court’s judgment against defendant after finding the testimony of plaintiff’s key witness was inadmissible hearsay.

The plaintiff Frank C. Hart filed suit alleging that his mesothelioma diagnosed was caused by exposure to asbestos from his work in construction as a pipe layer. The paintiff alleged that defendant supplied asbestos-containing piping that exposed him to asbestos. The lower court’s judgment was primarily based on a …

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Chanel Obtains Defense Verdict from Oregon Jury in Living Mesothelioma Claim

OREGON — An Oregon jury delivered a defense verdict for defendant Chanel on September 17, 2018 after a four-week trial in a living pleural mesothelioma claim. Chanel asserted an spontaneous etiology defense and the jury unanimously found that (i) Chanel was not negligent and (ii) was no defect in the Chanel cosmetic talc product allegedly used by plaintiff in this case.…

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Court Precludes Some But Not All Testimony of Naval Expert

VIRGINIA — Following up with a prior ACT post on the Harry Goodrich matter pending in the United States District Court, E.D., Virginia, the Court has issued an omnibus opinion concerning motions in limine.

Among other issues decided, the court addressed the plaintiffs’ motion to limit the testimony of defendants’ naval expert, Margaret McCloskey (McCloskey). Pursuant to Rule 702, the plaintiffs sought to limit the testimony of McCloskey in four (4) respects: (i) as unqualified to opine about plaintiffs actual exposure to asbestos-containing thermal insulation …

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NYCAL Verdict Reduced from $60M to $29M

NEW YORK — The plaintiff was diagnosed with mesothelioma in April 2015 (55 years old) and passed away about fifteen (15) months later in July 2016.  Thereafter, in October 2015, the plaintiff’s estate brought suit in NYCAL against a number of defendants alleging that the decedent’s mesothelioma diagnosis and death was caused by decedent’s exposure to asbestos from products that were manufactured, distributed, and/or sold by the defendants. This case ultimately went to trial and was presided over by Justice Manuel Mendez. In April 2018, …

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Defendant Fails to Meet Removal Requirements under 28 U.S.C. § 1442(a)

CALIFORNIA — The plaintiff Randolph Morton (Plaintiff or Morton) filed this personal injury claim in California state court alleging that Morton’s asbestos-related disease was allegedly caused by the defendants’ acts and omissions involving the use of asbestos at or in the vicinity of Morton’s workplace.

The defendant removed the case to federal court (United States District Court, Central District of California) based on federal office removal jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1442(a).  Here, defendant seeks to put forth the government contractor defense, which outlines that …

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