Federal Officer Removal Statute Found Inapplicable in Negligence Claim Against Shipyard Defendant; Remand Granted

LOUISIANA – The plaintiff, Gregory Brown brought this action against several defendants including Avondale Shipyard (Avondale) claiming that he developed lung cancer from exposure to asbestos while working for Avondale at its shipyard on and off from 1967-1971. Specifically, Mr. Brown worked as a cleanup man, tacker, and insulator helper. He also claimed exposure to asbestos from his employment for other employers from 1965- 1978. The plaintiff was deposed and gave testimony regarding his work on ships while at Avondale but did not state that …

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Valve Manufacturer Granted Summary Judgment as Court Finds No Evidence of Conspiracy

DELAWARE — Plaintiff Marguerite MacQueen filed claims in the Superior Court of Delaware against defendant Crane Co., among others, for manufacturing products that exposed her late husband David MacQueen to asbestos during his time aboard the USS Randolph and USS Independence in the United States Navy from 1956 to 1960, and during his time as a salesman for the Union Carbide Corporation from 1963 to 1980.  Crane subsequently removed the matter to federal court on federal officer jurisdiction.

Crane moved for summary judgment on the …

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Turbine Manufacturer’s Choice of Law Motion Granted Based on Location of Asbestos Exposure and Diagnosis

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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