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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District Court Remands Case Back to New Jersey State Court After Federal Defendant is Dismissed United States District Court, District of New Jersey, August 17, 2018

NEW JERSEY — On October 30, 2015, The plaintiffs Thomas Grimes and Estelle Grimes Estelle Grimes initially filed suit in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Middlesex County against a number of defendants alleging that Mr. Grimes’s mesothelioma was caused by exposure to defendants’ asbestos or asbestos-containing products. Shortly thereafter, the case was removed to the United States District Court, District Court of New Jersey, following Defendant Crane’s Notice of Removal relating to the federal officer removal statute, 28 U.S.C. Section 1442(a)(1). Pursuant to…
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Case Remanded to State Court as Shipyard Defendant Fails to Show Causal United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana, August 1, 2018

LOUISIANA — The plaintiff Terry Brady alleged that his lung cancer was caused by exposure to asbestos while working aboard U.S. Navy vessels from 1968-1989. During the plaintiff’s time aboard the USS Robert A. Owens, the ship docked at a shipyard operated by defendant Avondale Shipyards. The plaintiff filed this matter in state court, alleging that the defendants failed to warn of the hazards of asbestos, failed to provide a safe environment, and failed to employ safe procedures for handling asbestos. Avondale removed the case…
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Remand Affirmed on Appeal Due to Lack of Causal Connection to Support Removal Under Federal Officer Statute U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit, July 26, 2018

The family of Tyrone Melancon filed suit in Louisiana state court alleging that his development of mesothelioma and subsequent death were caused by his exposure to asbestos at the Huntington Ingalls shipyard where he was employed from 1965 to 1979. The plaintiffs alleged that Huntington Ingalls negligently failed to warn Tyrone Melancon of the dangers of asbestos and failed to implement safety procedures for handling asbestos. Huntington Ingalls removed the case to federal court under the federal officer removal statute, alleging that removal was permissible…
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Bankruptcy Status of Louisiana Defendant Does Not Provide Grounds For Removal United States District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana, July 26, 2018

LOUISIANA — The plaintiff filed suit against multiple defendants alleging that he contracted mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos products at various worksites from 1960-1979. The plaintiff initially filed suit against 20 defendants in the Civil District Court for the Parish of Orleans. On July 23, 2018 Defendants Union Carbide Corporation and Bayer CropScience, Inc. filed a notice of removal, stating that the plaintiff had settled with all remaining parties and alleging that complete diversity existed. Concurrently, the plaintiffs filed a motion to…
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Removal Under Federal Enclave Jurisdiction Deemed Timely U.S.D.C. for the Western District of Pennsylvania, June 28, 2018

PENNSYLVANIA — The plaintiff, Harald Mehnert, filed suit in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas, alleging he suffered from mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure incurred while working on Mass Spectrometers at the U.S. Geological Survey Department in Denver, Colorado, from 1959 to 1995. He filed suit on November 27, 2017 and all defendants were served with process by January 17, 2018. The complaint did not allege the location of the plaintiff’s work. On April 3, 2018, the plaintiff served answers to interrogatories indicating that…
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Defendant’s Joinder Denied; Parallel Suits Allowed in Federal and State Court United States District Court, S.D.N.Y, June 21, 2018

NEW YORK — On October 3, 2017, the plaintiffs filed two lawsuits in New York state court against two different groups of defendants. One lawsuit was filed against 83 defendants, not including Crane Co. (Crane), alleging that John Grimes developed mesothelioma as a result of exposure to defendants’ asbestos-containing products. At present, that matter remains pending in state court. The second action—the instant action—was filed against four other defendants, including Crane. The plaintiffs similarly alleged that Mr. Grimes developed mesothelioma as a result of exposure…
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