Federal Court Grants Remand to Madison County Based on Plaintiff’s Waiver of Any Claims Related to His Military Service U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, November 23, 2015

In this case, the plaintiff originally filed the action in the Third Judicial Circuit, Madison County, Illinois alleging exposure to asbestos as an aircraft mechanic, helicopter mechanic, and laborer at various locations throughout the United States between 1958 and 2006. The plaintiff’s work on helicopters was while he served in the U.S. Army.  Defendant Boeing removed the case to federal court based on the federal officer removal statute. The plaintiff moved for a remand based on his previously filed waiver of all claims related to…
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In Severing Late Third-Party Claims Against Defendant with Federal Defenses, Court Remands Case That had Been Litigated in State Court for Almost Two Years U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky, Louisville, October 26, 2015

In this case, an action was brought in Jefferson Circuit Court asserting state-law claims for the asbestos exposure and death of the decedent, Glen Brown. Defendant General Electric Company (GE) was granted leave to assert a third-party claim against Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), who then removed the matter to federal court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1442(a)(1), the federal officer removal statute. The plaintiff moved to remand the matter and to sever GE’s claims against TVA. The court first looked at the severance of GE’s claims…
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Plaintiffs’ Motion for Leave to Amend Complaint to Delete Federal Question Neither Prejudicial Nor Futile Where Remaining Defendant’s Summary Judgment Motion Did Not Argue Federal Claims U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, October 19, 2015

The plaintiff was diagnosed with mesothelioma and filed suit against a sea of defendants in New York state court. After responding to interrogatories indicating that he was exposed to asbestos while in the Navy, Foster Wheeler timely removed this case to federal court based upon the federal government-contractor defense.  When the only defendant remaining was Crane,  the plaintiffs moved for leave to file a first amended complaint which would eliminate any federal claims or defenses.  At the time the paintiff moved for leave to amend,…
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Case Remanded Based on Dismissal and Settlement of Defendants with Federal Defenses U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, October 20, 2015

This case was originally filed in the Third Judicial Circuit in Madison County. The defendant, Crane Co., removed based on the Federal Officer Removal Statute 28 U.S.C. 1442(a)(1) and defendant General Electric Company (GE) joined in. The plaintiff moved to remand the case and GE was the only defendant to oppose. Prior to the court rendering a decision, GE was dismissed from the case and Crane settled. CBS Corporation then filed a notice of joinder or removal, which the court found untimely. The court granted…
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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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Court Denies Certification of Interlocutory Appeals on Personal Jurisdictional Grounds in Two Delaware Cases Superior Court of Delaware, New Castle, September 24, 2015

In these two cases from Delaware, the defendants’ motions to dismiss based on personal jurisdiction were denied. Defendants subsequently sought certification of their interlocutory appeals pursuant to Del. Sup. Ct. 42. The court denied defendants’ applications in both cases, pointing to the “substantial issue of material importance” prong of the Rule 42 requirements.  The court stated that the Delaware Supreme Court has repeatedly held that denial of a motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction does not determine a “substantial issue.” In both cases,…
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Federal Court Refuses to Maintain Supplemental Jurisdiction After Plaintiff Amends Complaint U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, August 18, 2015

In this federal court case, the decedent, Thomas Maguire alleged exposure to asbestos while he served as a metalsmith in the Navy between 1958 and 1961, and then again while working as a steamfitter aboard Navy ships between 1962 and 1963. The defendant, Crane Co. removed the case to federal court based on the federal officer statute 28 U.S.C. 1442(a)(1). The plaintiff’s original motion to remand was denied, but they were granted leave to amend the complaint to remove all federal claims and defenses. The…
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Plaintiffs’ Concession to Not Pursue Navy Exposure Results in Remand Under Federal Officer Removal Statute U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, August 10, 2015

In this case, the plaintiffs claimed that the decedent was exposed to asbestos in connection with force draft blowers manufactured by Carrier Corporation and another defendant while in the Navy on board the USS Edson. The plaintiffs moved to remand after Carrier removed the case based on federal officer jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. 1442(a)(1). In granting the motion to remand, the court accepted the plaintiffs’ argument that despite the exposure, they expressly disclaimed any intention to pursue damages in connection with any Navy exposure: “In…
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Another Jurisdictional Battle Results in Transfer of Venue from Tennessee to Louisiana In Asbestos Case U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, Nashville Division, August 4, 2015

In this case, the plaintiff filed the lawsuit in United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, Nashville Division, based on his residence. Seven of the defendants moved to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction, which caused the plaintiff to move for a transfer of venue to Louisiana. The court found that Louisiana had a sufficient connection to the claimed exposure: “The Western District of Louisiana is the judicial district in which a substantial part of the events or omissions giving rise to…
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Plaintiff’s Motion to Remand Denied as Complaint Did Not Put Defendants on Notice of Federal Claims U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, July 30, 2015

In this federal court case, the plaintiff alleged exposure to various products while working at various worksites as a machinist, pipefitter, and electrician during the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. Several defendants removed the case based on the federal officer removal statute 28 U.S.C. 1442(a)(1) alleging that the federal court had jurisdiction because there is a “government contractor defense” to the claims.  The plaintiff moved to remand arguing that the removal was untimely as the defendants were initially put on notice of the federal claims from…
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