Expert Challenges and Motions in limine Decided in Federal Shipyard Case

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, September 16, 2020

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana has issued seven decisions on motions in limine filed by both plaintiffs and defendants in the Dempster v. Lamorak Insurance Co. matter, which has been closely followed by Asbestos Case Tracker. By way of background, the plaintiffs alleged the decedent, Callen L. Dempster was exposed to asbestos while employed at the Avondale Shipyards from 1962 to 1994. The case was removed to federal …

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Remand Denied as Defendants’ Notice of Removal Deemed Timely and Proper Under Federal Officer Statute

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, September 18, 2020

In this asbestos matter, plaintiff James Becnel contends that he developed lung cancer as a result of his work aboard a Navy vessel while employed at Avondale. The initial complaint was filed in the Civil District Court for the Parish of Orleans on July 22, 2019. In August 2019, the plaintiff testified that he worked aboard a Navy vessel known as the Lykes vessel during his deposition. Notably, he filed a second supplemental …

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Defendants Cannot Introduce Collateral Source Income at Trial

U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana, September 17, 2020

The instant matter has been extensively covered by the Asbestos Case Tracker blog. In addition to the myriad of other motions in limine filed, the plaintiffs filed a motion in limine to exclude questions or comments concerning collateral sources of income or payments. Multiple defendants opposed the motion.

The defendants “concede that evidence of benefits received from collateral sources is inadmissible for the purpose of reducing a plaintiff’s recovery by means of offset,” but argued …

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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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Shipyard’s Removal to Federal Court Granted Based on New Case Law

In a case previously covered by Asbestos Case Tracker, the court granted plaintiff’s motion to remand after Avondale removed this case to federal court. In this instant matter, defendant Avondale  again removed this case relying on the Fifth Circuit’s opinion in Latiolais v. Huntington Ingalls, Inc., a case in which it overturned the court’s prior “causal nexus” jurisprudence and adopted a broader “relating to” test. The plaintiff again moves for remand arguing (1) that the defendant’s removal was untimely and (2) that the …

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Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment Denied Due to Genuine Question of Material Fact

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, July 13, 2020

In the instant complaint, Marcela Lopez, the decedent’s wife and Federico Lopez III, the decedent’s surviving child, allege that Federico Lopez was exposed to asbestos-containing products while employed as a welder/pipefitter at Kellog Brown and Root between 1973 and 1986 and that he contracted malignant mesothelioma as a result of such exposure. Approximately one year later, plaintiffs Jessica and Alfred Soliz filed suit in the 19th Judicial Court for the Parish of East …

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Premises Owner Obtains Summary Judgment Based on Lack of Vicarious, Strict, and Direct Liability

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, July 6, 2020

In Lopez v. McDermott, Inc., pending in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, Exxon Mobil moved for summary judgment. In the operative complaint, the plaintiffs allege that Mr. Lopez (the plaintiff) was exposed to asbestos-containing products while employed as a welder/pipefitter at Kellogg Brown & Root between 1973 and 1986, which caused him to develop malignant mesothelioma. With regard to Exxon, the plaintiffs’ claims against them sounded in …

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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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Remand of Trailer Manufacturer’s Removal Granted Based on Lack of Diversity

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

The plaintiffs brought the instant action alleging that decedent John Brindell was exposed to asbestos-containing products during his employment for Puerto Rico Marine Management (PRMM) as a mechanic at the Port of New Orleans. The plaintiffs filed a petition in the Civil District Court for the Parish of Orleans against several defendants including Utility Trailer Manufacturing Company, Taylor-Seidenbach, Inc., Eagle Inc., and Eagle’s insurers-First State Insurance Company, and United States Fidelity and Guaranty Company.

Defendant Utility …

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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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