Motion to Remand Turbine Manufacturer’s Removal Denied Due to Statements in Settlement Demand Letter

United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island, January 9, 2019 RHODE ISLAND — The plaintiff filed suit on behalf of her husband, Michael Mannix, alleging that his death was caused by exposure to asbestos. She sued CBS, among other defendants, related to his work on ships in the Navy. After years of discovery, the plaintiff’s counsel sent CBS a settlement demand letter in which it was stated that decedent was exposed to asbestos from CBS turbines on the USS Saratoga. CBS promptly…
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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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Ninth Circuit Reverses District Court’s Decision to Remand Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, December 10, 2018

CALIFORNIA — Westinghouse appealed the decision of the District Court for the Central District of California, which remanded the matter due to the lack of a colorable federal defense.The district court concluded that the asbestos insulation in a nuclear propulsion system was not military equipment and therefore Westinghouse failed to present a colorable military contractor defense. The district court found that Westinghouse had met the other elements required for federal officer removal. The Ninth Circuit noted that several of its cases framed the issue more…
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Lack of Successor Liability Leads to Grant of Summary Judgment for Shipping Defendant United States District Court, W.D. Washington. October 25, 2018

WASHINGTON — The plaintiffs filed suit against Maersk Line alleging their decedent, Mr. Klopman-Baerselman, was exposed to asbestos from 1955-1959 while working as a merchant marine onboard the Rotterdam Lloyd. The plaintiffs named Maersk as a successor in interest to the Royal Rotterdam Lloyd. The defendant moved for summary judgment arguing that it had no connection to the Rotterdam Lloyd. The plaintiff sought discovery including the deposition of Defendant’s corporate representative Steven Hadder. In the meantime, The defendants removed the case and Maersk moved for…
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Mass Action Remanded to Montana State Court Based Upon Local Controversy Exception U.S.D.C. for the District of Montana, October 15, 2018

MONTANA — Nearly two hundred plaintiffs filed a lawsuit in Montana state court against BNSF Railway Company (BNSF) and its managing agent, John Swing. BNSF removed the cases as a mass action, as they all arose out of exposure from W.R. Grace’s operations in Libby, Montana. The plaintiffs were all Montana residents and argued the case was improperly removed because Mr. Swing was also a resident of the state. Magistrate Judge John Johnston entered Findings and Recommendations in the matter on January 23, 2018. Both…
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Defendant Fails to Meet Removal Requirements under 28 U.S.C. § 1442(a) United States District Court, C.D. California, September 19, 2018

CALIFORNIA — The plaintiff Randolph Morton (Plaintiff or Morton) filed this personal injury claim in California state court alleging that Morton’s asbestos-related disease was allegedly caused by the defendants’ acts and omissions involving the use of asbestos at or in the vicinity of Morton’s workplace. The defendant removed the case to federal court (United States District Court, Central District of California) based on federal office removal jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1442(a).  Here, defendant seeks to put forth the government contractor defense, which outlines that…
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Lack of Federal Officer Subject Matter Jurisdiction Leads to Grant of Remand and Award of Fees

The plaintiff filed this action alleging he developed mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos for which the defendants were liable. Specifically, The plaintiff claimed exposure while serving in the United States Navy onboard the U.S.S. Tortuga from 1956-1959. Defendant Aurora Pump Company (Aurora) removed the case the federal court asserting Federal Officer Removal. The plaintiffs moved to remand. The court began its analysis by stating that removal may be invoked when a defendant establishes that 1) that it is a person within the…
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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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Novel Motion to Remand Denied in California Talc Case U.S.District Court for the Central District of California, August 23, 2018

CALIFORNIA — A group of women filed suit against Johnson & Johnson in the Superior Court for the County of Los Angeles raising claims that the company violated various California codes by failing to warn consumers of exposure to asbestos and talc containing asbestiform fibers in Johnson and Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower products. On May 31, 2018, Johnson & Johnson removed to federal court on the basis of diversity jurisdiction. Plaintiffs moved to remand by arguing that the court lacked subject matter…
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Appeals Court Confirms Dismissal Based on Asbestos Supplier’s Lack of Contacts With Florida United States Courts of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit, August 23, 2018

FLORIDA — The plaintiff James Waite was allegedly exposed to asbestos while living in Massachusetts. He filed suit against multiple defendants, including Union Carbide, alleging that his exposure to asbestos caused him to develop mesothelioma. Mr. Waite was diagnosed in Florida, and he and his wife filed suit in Florida state court. Union Carbide removed the case to federal district court where the court determined that it lacked personal jurisdiction over UC. The Waites appealed, arguing that the district court erred in dismissing UC for…
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