Removal Found Procedurally Proper Based on Diversity

The plaintiffs, Nolan and Susan Legeaux, brought a motion to remand their asbestos case from federal court arguing that removing defendants failed to follow the correct removal procedure, that there are non-diverse defendants, and that the federal officer removal statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1442, is not applicable to the facts of the case. The motion was opposed by defendants Puget Sound Commerce Center, Inc., Vigor Industrial LLC, and Vigor Shipyards, Inc.

The plaintiffs’ motion was denied. The court found there was nothing procedurally improper about …

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Federal Court Suspicious of Plaintiff’s Motion for Leave to Amend to Add Non-Diverse Defendant; Motion Denied

The plaintiffs filed a motion for leave to file an amended complaint to add Taylor-Seidenbach, Inc., a non-diverse defendant, and to reflect additional facts and information. The court denied the plaintiffs’ motion.

This case was originally filed in state court and removed to federal court by defendants Puget Sound Commerce Center, Vigor Industrial LLC, and Vigor Shipyards (“removing defendants”) on the basis of diversity jurisdiction. The plaintiffs alleged asbestos exposure due to plaintiff Nolan Legeaux’s work in construction, industrial plants, and shipyards, and as a …

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Mixed Decision on Defendants’ Motion in Limine to Preclude Dr. James Millette

The defendants (pump and valve manufactures) filed a motion in limine to exclude certain studies and videos produced by the plaintiff’s expert Dr. James Millette. The defendants challenged two aspects of Dr. Millette’s proposed testimony. First, they argued that some — but not all — of the academic studies that Dr. Millette relied on are not reliable and do not fit the facts of the case, and thus should be precluded from discussing them at trial. Second, the defendants argued that Dr. Millette should not …

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Plaintiffs’ Experts’ Testimony of General Causation Not Permitted to Prove Specific Causation in Mesothelioma Case

The defendants moved in limine to preclude testimony of the plaintiffs’ experts Drs. Kradin, Kraus and Parker for their reliance on the “each and every exposure” methodology of causation.

The court began its analysis by stating the standard for expert qualification, which includes: 1) the expert’s scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will help the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact issue 2) the testimony is based on sufficient facts or data 3) the testimony is the product of …

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Federal Court Outlines Alternative Standard to Bare Metal Defense

William Bell alleged routine exposure to asbestos while serving as an engine man, machinery repairman, and a machinist mate in the United States Navy in the 1960s. Bell further alleged he was exposed to asbestos both while serving at sea on four ships as well as while training at a land-based Navy facility in Idaho. After being diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2015, Bell sued various companies that manufactured a wide range of products including pumps, valves, condensers, compressors, and turbines located on the Navy vessels …

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Case Remanded on Basis of Failure of Removing Party to Meet Burden of Proof on Improper Joinder

Plaintiff William Bozeman brought suit alleging exposure to asbestos and asbestos-containing products caused him to contract mesothelioma. Mr. Bozeman, a Louisiana resident, worked for Arizona Chemical Company, later known as International Paper Company, from 1975 to 1981 and 1981 to 1999 in Louisiana and claims he was exposed while on the job. He filed suit in the Civil District Court for Orleans Parish. On September 9, 2016 defendant Wyeth Holding Corp., formerly known as American Cyanamid Company removed the case to the U.S. District Court …

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U.S. District Court Applies Foreign State Removal and Denies Plaintiff’s Motion for Remand

The plaintiff brought an action against multiple defendants for his alleged occupational exposure to lung cancer while working as a longshoreman for different stevedoring companies from 1954-1979. Included with the numerous defendants was Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa, Ltd. (IDC) and South African Marine. The plaintiff’s claims included negligence, strict liability, intentional tort, and premises liability. Specific to IDC and South African Marine, the plaintiff asserted claims under the Jones Act.

Immediately after filing suit, the plaintiff filed a motion to dismiss his claims …

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Preclusion of Plaintiff’s Causation Expert Upheld on Appeal Due to Failure to Consider Decedent’s Smoking History

The plaintiffs, Dwayne Bourdeaux, Gerilyn Cook, and Bryan Bourdeaux, Individually and as Proper Parties in Interest for Gerald Bourdeaux, filed suit in Louisiana alleging that Gerald Bourdeaux lung cancer diagnosis and eventual death was asbestos exposure.  In support of this claim, the plaintiffs offered Dr. Gerald E. Liuzza, a pathologist, as an expert witness to establish the causative link between the asbestos exposure and lung cancer.

Defendant Trinity Industries, Inc. filed a motion in limine to preclude Dr. Liuzza from testifying at trial on the …

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Issue of Foreseeable Duty to be Determined by a Jury in Take-Home Exposure Case Against Plant Where Decedent’s Husband Worked

The plaintiffs’ decedent, Elizabeth Sutherland, alleged take-home exposure to asbestos from her first husband’s work clothes. The plaintiff’s first husband, James “Huey” Chustz, worked as an electrician helper for Hershel Leonard Jr. Electric Company from 1964-72. At minimum, he spent 250 days at the sugar mill Alma Plantation, LLC, where he would become covered in dust from coming into contact with pipes. After dismissal of various parties and claims, the only claim remaining against Alma was if it owed a foreseeable duty to the decedent. …

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U.S. District Court Exercises Supplemental Jurisdiction and Denies Plaintiff’s Motion to Remand

In this case, the plaintiff, Frank Williams, brought an action in the Civil District Court for the Parish of Orleans for exposure to asbestos while working as a mechanical engineer for Lockheed Martin. Lockheed Martin removed the case to on the basis of a potential federal defense.

The plaintiff filed a motion to remand, but the court declined to decide the motion and transferred the case to the Eastern District of Pennsylvania for consolidation into the Multi District Litigation “MDL.” Judge Robreno denied the motion …

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