Three Experts’ Opinions Deemed Reliable and Relevant Under Daubert Standard United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana, January 7, 2019

LOUISIANA — The defendants Ford and Cummins filed motions in limine to exclude or limit the expert testimony of the plaintiffs’ experts Dr. Brent Staggs, Dr. Murray Finkelstein, and Christopher Depasquale. The plaintiff Victor Michel filed suit in state court against multiple defendants, alleging that his exposure to asbestos while working as a mechanic and generator service technician caused him to contract peritoneal mesothelioma. Under Daubert, the district court “is to act as a gatekeeper to ensure that ‘any and all scientific testimony or…
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Louisiana Case Remanded Due to Lack of Causal Nexus Between Defendants’ Actions Under Color of Federal Office and Plaintiff’s Negligence Claims United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana, January 7, 2019

LOUISIANA — The plaintiff Callen Dempster filed suit against multiple defendants, alleging that he was exposed to asbestos and asbestos-containing products while employed by Avondale Industries, Inc. (Avondale) from 1962-1994.  The plaintiff originally filed suit in the Civil District Court for the Parish of Orleans, State of Louisiana, on March 14, 2018.  On June 21, 2018, the defendants Huntington Ingalls Incorporated, Albert Bossier, Jr., J. Melton Garret, and Lamorak Insurance Company (the Avondale Interests) removed the case to the eastern district under the Federal Officer…
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Defendants’ Joint Motion for Summary Judgment Failed Due to Unresolved Issues of Material Fact United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana, January 7, 2019

LOUISIANA — The plaintiff Victor Michel filed suit in state court against multiple defendants, alleging that his exposure to asbestos while working as a mechanic and generator service technician caused him to contract peritoneal mesothelioma. The defendants removed the action to the Eastern District of Louisiana, and Ford and Cummins Inc. filed a joint motion for summary judgment, arguing that the plaintiff could not show that their products substantially contributed to Michel’s mesothelioma.  Plaintiff opposed the motion. The defendants argued jointly that they were entitled…
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Plaintiff’s Experts Precluded for Untimely Disclosure United States District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana, December 28, 2018

LOUISIANA — The plaintiff Victor Michel (plaintiff) initially filed suit in state court on July 28, 2017, alleging asbestos exposure as a result of his work as a mechanic and generator service technician from 1965-2005. The defendants removed the case to federal court on May 8, 2018. After the case was removed to federal court, a status conference was held at which the court asked the parties to notify it of any remaining discovery. There was no discussion as to any further expert discovery. The…
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Prescriptive Statute of Limitation Period Leads to Grant of Summary Judgment in Favor of Shipyard Defendant

LOUISIANA –The plaintiff filed suit against several defendants including Huntington Ingalls (Avondale) and Kaiser Gypsum (Kaiser) alleging her mother, Dolores Punch, developed and passed from mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos for which the defendants were liable. Specifically, the plaintiff alleged that her decedent was exposed to asbestos fibers from washing the laundry of her husband who had worked as a pipe fitter at Avondale from 1948-1960. The plaintiff later amended her complaint to include exposure from the work clothes of her son…
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Welding Contractor Must Indemnify Premises Owner for Exposures to its Own Employee United States District Court, Eastern District Louisiana, October 10, 2018

LOUISIANA — Wayne Bourgeois worked as a welder from 1989 to 1994 at Chevron Chemical (Chevron) in Belle Chasse, Louisiana. His employer was J.E. Merit, a predecessor to Defendant Jacobs Field Services North America, Inc. (Jacobs). As part of their contract to provide maintenance for the Chevron plant, including welders, Jacobs agreed to indemnify Chevron against loss, damage, injury or death connected with their work under the contract. Bourgeois developed mesothelioma and sued Chevron, who tendered the defense to Jacobs who declined to defend. Chevron…
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Remand Granted After Shipyard Defendant Fails to Establish Causal Nexus Required By Federal Officer Removal Statute United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana. September 25, 2018

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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Elements for Removal Found Under Federal Officer Jurisdiction in Take-Home Mesothelioma Case U.S. District Court, E.D. Louisiana, September 25, 2018

LOUISIANA — The plaintiff filed suit against several defendants including Kaiser Aluminum (Kaiser) and Huntington Ingalls (Avondale) alleging her mother, Dolores Punch, contracted mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos while washing the work clothes of her husband and son. Mr. Punch worked as a pipefitter and welder at Avondale Shipyard from 1948-1960 and at Kaiser Aluminum from 1961-1967 handling the same material. The decedent’s son also worked as a helper and pipefitter at Avondale from 1976-1979.  Avondale removed the suit to federal court asserting the Federal…
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Proper Removal Based Upon Diversity Jurisdiction When Clearly No Case Against Non-Diverse Defendant United States District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana, August 28, 2018

LOUISIANA — The plaintiff Victor Michel filed a personal injury suit in Louisiana state court alleging that his mesothelioma was caused by exposure to asbestos during his work as a parts delivery driver, truck mechanic, and generator service technician. The defendant Cummins, Inc. removed the matter to federal court after receiving a deposition transcript of plaintiff that arguably demonstrated that defendant and Louisiana resident, Taylor-Seidenbach, Inc. (TSI), was fraudulently joined to defeat diversity jurisdiction. The plaintiff moved to remand asserting a lack of diversity jurisdiction,…
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Failure to Certify Involuntary Dismissals Under Rule 54(b) Leads to No Federal Appellate Jurisdiction United States Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit August 24, 2018

LOUISIANA –The decedent Frank Williams allegedly contracted mesothelioma through asbestos exposure while working at the NASA Michoud Assembly Facility (MAF). Lockheed Martin removed to federal court under the federal officer removal statute. The case was transferred to the Asbestos MDL, after which decedent’s children were substituted as the plaintiffs. The Asbestos MDL court issued various orders, including granting motions for summary judgment, and ultimately remanded the entire case back to Louisiana state court; plaintiffs then voluntarily dismissed their claims against the four remaining defendants. One…
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