Allegation in Complaint of Exposure at Shipyard Renders Defendant’s Removal Untimely United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana, September 11, 2019

LOUISIANA – The plaintiff, Charles Merlin Parfait, Sr., alleged that he contracted mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos during his work at the Avondale Shipyards from 1968 to 1978, and sued various defendants in state court in Orleans Parish Louisiana. The plaintiff alleged strict liability claims in his state court petition, but specifically disclaimed strict liability claims against Avondale Shipyards’ successor, Huntington Ingalls Incorporated.  Less than 30 days after the plaintiff’s deposition, Huntington Ingalls removed the case to federal court and claimed that the plaintiff’s deposition…
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California Case Removed During Jury Selection Sent Back to State Court U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, August 9, 2019

CALIFORNIA – The plaintiff, Arthur Putt, filed suit in Los Angeles Superior Court on December 3, 2018, alleging he developed mesothelioma from his use of automobile brakes. Among the 16 defendants sued were Ford, Pneumo Abex and Pep Boys. On August 7, 2019, jury selection began with Ford and Pep Boys participating. Pneumo Abex did not participate in the process, but the superior court had not dismissed the plaintiff’s claims against it. On August 8, the plaintiff’s counsel informed the superior court that the claims…
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Talc Case Remanded To State Court When Fraudulent Joinder Theory Fails United States District Court, N.D. New York, July 31, 2019

NEW YORK – The plaintiff, Marilyn LaFlair, sued Port Jervis, New York resident Kolmar Laboratories, Inc. (Kolmar) and Johnson & Johnson (J&J) in state court in St. Lawrence County, New York. She alleged that asbestos-contaminated cosmetic talcum powder products manufactured and supplied by these defendants caused her mesothelioma. J&J removed the action to federal court and argued that non-diverse defendant Kolmar was fraudulently joined to the action. J&J contended that the “boilerplate allegations” of the plaintiff’s pleadings at most only suggested that Kolmar manufactured, sampled…
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Equitable Considerations Warrant Granting Plaintiff’s Motion to Remand in Talc Matter United States District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana, July 24, 2019

LOUISIANA – In the first motion to remand ruled on after Johnson & Johnson’s (J&J)motion to fix venue in the United States District Court, District of Delaware was denied, the court considered the plaintiff Phyllis Lea’s motion. The plaintiff filed suit against multiple defendants, including J&J, alleging that her exposure to asbestos-containing talcum powder products caused her to develop ovarian cancer. On April 24, 2019, J&J removed the matter to the district court, and the plaintiff filed the instant motion on June 6, 2019. The…
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Johnson & Johnson’s Motion to Stay Denied U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, June 7, 2019

FLORIDA – The plaintiff, Patricia Matthey, filed suit against Johnson & Johnson (J&J), Imerys Talc and Publix Super Markets in Florida State Court, alleging that asbestos in J&J baby powder caused her to develop ovarian cancer. Imerys was dismissed due to a lack of personal jurisdiction and subsequently declared bankruptcy. As it did in thousands of other cases, J&J recently removed the matter to federal court based on federal court jurisdiction over pending bankruptcy actions. J&J filed a motion to stay while its motion to…
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Motion to Remand or Sever Claims Ruled Premature U.S. District Court. for the Eastern District of Louisiana May 31, 2019

LOUISIANA – In March 2017, the plaintiffs filed a lawsuit alleging that decedent, Wayne Knight, who developed mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos while employed by Avondale Shipyard from 1967 to 1982. Avondale removed the case in October 2018, pursuant to the federal officer removal statute. The plaintiffs then filed a motion to sever claims and remand. Pursuant to the federal officer removal statute, removal is proper if a defendant can establish four elements:
  1. That it is a person within the meaning of

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Outcome of Instant Matter Would Not Impact Non-Party Talc Supplier’s Pending Bankruptcy Estate, Remand Ordered United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania, May 30, 2019

PENNSYLVANIA – The defendant Johnson & Johnson (J&J), in a topic that has been extensively covered by the Asbestos Case Tracker, indicated in its notice of removal that this case is one of many in the United States which involve claims concerning personal injuries and deaths allegedly caused by J&J’s cosmetic talc. J&J’s motion further indicates that the “sole supplier” of the talc which the defendant used in its product, filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 11. The plaintiffs’ complaint is similar to those filed by…
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Asbestos Talc Cases Remanded to State Courts Despite Pending Bankruptcy of Talc Supplier United States District Court, C.D. California, May 21, 2019

CALIFORNIA — On Tuesday, a federal court in California ordered that a group of asbestos talc personal injury cases must be remanded to state court on equitable grounds. Defendant Johnson & Johnson (J&J) had removed these actions to federal court in April on the basis of the pending bankruptcy of its sole talc supplier, Imerys Talc America, Inc., claiming that J&J’s supply agreements with Imerys contained contractual indemnifications and other liability-sharing provisions, and that they were “related” to Imerys’s bankruptcy proceedings in federal court in…
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Turbine Manufacturer’s Removal Deemed Timely Due to Plaintiffs’ Vague Initial Pleadings and Answers to Interrogatories United States District Court, D. Maryland, April 12, 2019

MARYLAND — The plaintiffs filed suit in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City on April 4, 2018, against Westinghouse and thirty other the defendants. In the original complaint, the plaintiffs provided no time frame during which the plaintiff’s decedent, Vincent James Barrett, may have been exposed to asbestos, nor did it provide any specifics as to which he was exposed to or identify ships on which he may have worked. On December 18, 2018, Westinghouse removed the case to the District Court of Maryland “within…
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Fifth Circuit Affirms Remand of Shipyard Case U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, March 11, 2019

LOUISIANA — The plaintiff James Latiolas, filed suit in Louisiana State Court alleging asbestos exposure while working at the Avondale shipyard. The plaintiff only asserted a negligence claim against Avondale and Avondale removed the case on the basis of the federal officer defense. The plaintiff filed a motion to remand, which was granted. On appeal, the fifth circuit affirmed. The evidence previously gathered in other cases demonstrated that Avondale built and refurbished naval vessels based on the Navy’s specifications and under the their supervision. However,…
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