Motion for Reconsideration on Removal in Shipyard Case Granted

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana

The plaintiff, Patricia Jackson, alleges asbestos exposure while employed by Avondale Shipyard between 1970 and 1977. She further alleged asbestos exposure from father’s work clothing while he was employed by Avondale between 1962 and 1975. The plaintiff filed suit against numerous defendants including Huntington Ingalls Incorporated, Albert L. Bossier, Jr., and Lamorak Insurance Company (collectively, the Avondale defendants), Taylor Seidenbach, International Paper, Eagle, Inc., Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, and Hopeman Brothers, Inc. in state court. The case …

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Plaintiff’s Motion to Remand on Timeliness of Defendant’s Removal on Federal Officer Jurisdiction Denied

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana

Plaintiff H. Francis alleged he was diagnosed with lung cancer as a result of his work as a rod clerk for Avondale Shipyards from 1973 to 1974. Mr. Francis was deposed on January 21, 2020 regarding these allegations, and Avondale received his deposition transcript on February 4, 2020. On March 24, 2020, Avondale filed a Notice of Removal, seeking to remove the case from Louisiana State court to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District …

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Colorable Federal Officer Defense Leads to Denial of Remand in Shipyard Mesothelioma Case

United States District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana.

Plaintiff Jesse Hernandez filed suit against several defendants alleging he developed mesothelioma while working summers in 1968, 1969 and 1970 at the Avondale Shipyard as a painter’s helper and assistant clerk. During his deposition, he recalled working on board several vessels in the main yard and U.S. Navy destroyers. The defendants removed the case based on federal officer removal. Plaintiff moved to remand.

The Court quickly concluded that the defendants had a colorable federal defense. Relying on …

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Remand Granted After Finding that Removal Period was Triggered by Plaintiffs’ Discovery Responses

NEW YORK – The plaintiffs sued dozens of defendants, including Cleaver-Brooks, alleging that Frederick Brown developed an asbestos-related injury as a result of exposure to the defendant’s products. The complaint was filed in July 2017. The plaintiff served answers to interrogatories in October 2017. The responses stated in pertinent part “…While performing my sheet metal worker duties, I was exposed to asbestos from the work I did as well as from the work of tradesmen around and in close proximity to me who were cleaning, …

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On Reversal, Aircraft Manufacturer Successfully Obtains Removal on Federal Officer Grounds

ILLINOIS – The plaintiffs Bruce and Barbara Betzner (plaintiffs) commenced a lawsuit in Illinois State Court (Madison County) against, among other defendants, Boeing Company (Boeing), alleging that, during the course of the plaintiff Bruce Betzner’s (Mr. Betzner) employment, he was exposed to asbestos-containing products, resulting in his mesothelioma diagnosis. With particular regard to Boeing, the plaintiffs allege that Mr. Betzner’s assembly of heavy bomber aircraft for the United State Air Force, which involved the installation of Boeing components, exposed him to asbestos.

Boeing filed a …

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Remand Granted After Shipyard Defendant Fails to Establish Causal Nexus Required By Federal Officer Removal Statute

LOUISIANA — The plaintiffs filed this action against many defendants including Huntington Ingalls (Avondale) alleging their decedent contracted mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos while working at Avondale Shipyard from 1964-1972. Avondale removed the case asserting Federal Officer Removal Statute. The plaintiff moved to remand arguing that Avondale could not satisfy the elements required under Federal Officer Removal Statute.

According to the court, Avondale must show that it 1) that the person is within the meaning of the statute 2) that it has …

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Shipyard Defendants Establish a Colorable Federal Defense in Mesothelioma Case; Remand Denied

NEW JERSEY — The plaintiff filed suit on behalf of her decedent Robert Fish alleging he developed mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos products of the defendants. Specifically, the plaintiff believed Mr. Fish was exposed to joiner panels while working onboard the USS Savannah for New York Shipbuilding and Drydock Company. The dfendants removed the matter to federal court asserting the federal officer removal statute. The plaintiff moved to remand.

The court began its review by noting the standard for federal officer removal. …

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Concrete Factual Information Starts the 30-Day Removal Clock

ILLINOIS — In September 2016, the plaintiff was diagnosed with mesothelioma, and in September 2017, he filed suit against a defendant, and a number of other parties, alleging his illness was caused by exposure to asbestos. The plaintiff claimed that his exposure occurred between 1970 and 2004 while he was serving in the United States Air Force, working as a commercial airline mechanic, and/or engaging in home remodeling and other activities.

The defendant was served with the plaintiff’s complaint on September 21, 2017 and filed …

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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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Lack of Causal Nexus Leads to Grant of Remand Against Shipyard Defendant

LOUISIANA — The plaintiff filed suit against several Defendants including Avondale Shipyards. James Latiolais allegedly developed mesothelioma from his work as a machinist onboard the USS Tappahannock. Avondale removed the case after the plaintiff’s deposition concluded. The removal was made pursuant to Federal Officer Removal Statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1442 (a)(1). The plaintiff moved to remand.

The court began its analysis by discussing the elements associated with Federal Officer Removal. First, the defendant must meet the criteria of being a “person” which includes corporations like …

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