Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana Grants Motion to Stay as to All Parties Where Insurer for Certain Defendants Declared Insolvent

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, July 15, 2021

In an action by the plaintiff, former employee of a shipyard, for injuries related to asbestos inhalation and subsequent mesothelioma, the shipyard’s insurer moved to stay all proceedings due to the insurer’s being placed into liquidation in the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania as a result of insolvency.

Bedivere Insurance Company, which included by merger Lamorak—the insurer for the several defendants in the action—was declared insolvent and placed in liquidation in March 2021. The …

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Pre-Discovery Motion for Summary Judgment Denied in Shipyard Case

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, July 12, 2021

The plaintiffs alleged that the decedent, Raymond Hutchins, was exposed to asbestos while working aboard vessels owned by his employer, Lykes Bros. Steamship Company, from 1964 to 2006. Specifically, the plaintiffs alleged that Hutchins was exposed to asbestos from dockside repair work performed by the defendant, Dixie Machine Welding & Metal Works, Inc. (Dixie Machine). In support of this contention, the plaintiffs argued that Lykes Bros. was Dixie Machine’s largest customer from the …

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Federal Officer Removal Upheld for Employer Steam Ship Company

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, May 17, 2021

The plaintiffs alleged that the decedent, Raymond Hutchins, Jr. was exposed to asbestos while working aboard vessels owned and operated by his employer, Lykes Brothers Steamship Company from 1964 to 2006. Specifically, the plaintiffs alleged that Mr. Hutchins worked aboard several vessels built by Avondale Shipyard pursuant to its contracts with the United States Maritime Administration. The plaintiffs filed their suit in state court, and Huntington Ingalls, as successor to Avondale, removed the …

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Plaintiff’s Motion to Remand in Talc Case Granted; In-State Defendant Properly Joined

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, April 22, 2021

In this asbestos action, Lynne Roy (the decedent) contended that she developed mesothelioma after using various talc products throughout her life. She filed a complaint in the Civil District Court for the Parish of Orleans where she alleged several state law based claims, including strict liability, negligence, professional vendor liability, failure to warn, breach of warranty, defective design, and civil conspiracy. The complaint only named one in-state defendant, K&B. With regard to K&B, …

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Executive Officers Considered Employees for Co-Employee Exclusions

Louisiana Court of Appeals, First Circuit, April 9, 2021

The plaintiffs brought suit on behalf of deceased against a number of manufacturers and suppliers of asbestos containing products allegedly causing asbestos-related lung cancer. The plaintiffs amended to add Arrowood Indemnity, successor of an insurer which issued a policy to Stone & Webster which was in effect from January 1, 1965 to June 2, 1971.

Arrowood moved for summary judgment asserting that the CGL policies contained employee exclusions which precluded coverage to Stone & Webster for …

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Defendants Prevail on Removal to Federal Court Based on Federal Officer Removal Statute

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, March 31, 2021

In October 2019, plaintiff Stephen Legendre, filed a lawsuit alleging that he contracted mesothelioma in September 2019. He alleged that his mesothelioma was caused by take-home exposure to asbestos from his father who worked at Avondale from 1943 to 1945.

The defendants removed this matter pursuant to the Federal Officer Removal Statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1442. Thereafter, the plaintiff filed a motion to remand asserting federal jurisdiction is not warranted.

28 U.S.C. § 1442(a)(1) makes removable …

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Federal Officer Removal Found to Be Proper and Timely in Another Post-Latiolais Decision

U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana, March 4, 2021

The plaintiffs alleged the decedent, Kirk Reulet, was exposed to asbestos during his own employment at the Avondale Shipyard from 1967 to 1972 and from take-home exposure to asbestos through his father, Pierre Reulet, who worked for Avondale from 1964 to 1977. Defendant Hopeman Brothers, Inc. allegedly performed contracting work with asbestos-containing products at Avondale during Mr. Reulet’s employment. In June 2019, the plaintiffs filed suit against Avondale, Hopeman, and other defendants in …

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Court Finds Shipyard Defendants’ Removal Timely Based on Plaintiffs’ Supplemental Discovery Responses; Remand Denied

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, March 19, 2021

Decedent Frank Labarre worked as a tire repairman or salesman in automobile shops throughout Louisiana throughout his career. In 2016, Mr. Labarre was diagnosed with a “probable asbestos-related lung condition,” and he passed away in 2018. The plaintiff alleged that by performing brake jobs and by performing work at various premises, including those of Avondale, he was regularly exposed to asbestos-containing brake products. Avondale was a customer of the decedent for over four …

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Removal Deemed Timely in Navy Shipyard Case

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, March 2, 2021

Plaintiff Linda Crossland filed a motion to remand and defendants Avondale and Hopeman Brothers Inc. oppose the plaintiff’s motion. The plaintiff’s alleged exposure to asbestos was from asbestos fibers floating from Avondale Shipyards into her neighborhood, take home asbestos exposure from her father and husband’s work at Avondale, and from her own work at Avondale’s Main yard from 1966 through the 1970s. The plaintiff was deposed on December 11, 2020 and Avondale removed …

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Court of Appeals Affirms Summary Judgment Finding No Evidence Decedent Exposed to Defendants’ Products

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, February 26, 2021

The plaintiffs claim their farther, a mechanical engineer at the NASA Michoud Assembly Facility (MAF), was killed by asbestos products sold and installed by defendants McCarty Corporation and Taylor Seidenbach, Inc.  Deteriorating asbestos and asbestos remediation occurred in the buildings in which the decedent worked.

The plaintiffs appealed the district court’s granting of summary judgment for the defendants concluding that the court found no evidence of decedent’s exposure to respirable asbestos at the MAF.  …

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