Federal Court Exercises Supplemental Jurisdiction in Shipyard Case

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, March 17, 2022

In this asbestos action, decedent Joseph B. Savoie, Jr. developed mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos at the Avondale Shipyards. Certain defendants removed this matter to federal court in 2015. Following the plaintiff’s motion to remand, the Fifth Circuit held that removal was proper as the “Avondale Interests presented a colorable defense of federal contractor immunity” in 2017. The Avondale Interests were dismissed in 2021. Thereafter, the plaintiffs filed a motion to remand …

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Talc Case Remanded as Defendant Failed to Show Complete Diversity or Improper Joinder

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division, March 17, 2022

In this asbestos action, plaintiff Naomi Wisener alleged that several defendants manufactured or supplied asbestos-containing products which exposed her to asbestos. Wisener commenced this action in state court (14th Judicial Court of Dallas County, Texas). Defendant Revlon removed the matter to federal court (United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas). Thereafter, Wisener moved to remand the matter to state court.

As the party removing the matter to …

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Motion to Remand Denied as District Court Exercised Supplemental Jurisdiction Over Plaintiff’s State Law Claims

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, January 5, 2022

In this asbestos action, the plaintiff Lennard Stansbury claims that he developed mesothelioma following asbestos exposure while working at several jobsites in the New Orleans area from approximately 1966 until the late 1970s. Stansbury filed his complaint in November 2020 and was deposed in March 2021. The defendant Wausau filed a third-party demand which named Avondale Shipyards as a third-party defendant in August 2021. Thereafter, the third-party defendant Avondale filed a notice of …

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Removal to Federal Court Timely as a Lack of Specificity in Plaintiff’s Complaint Failed to Trigger 30-Day Deadline

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, November 23, 2021

The plaintiff was an employee of Huntington Ingalls, Inc., intermittently from 1972 to 1975, running a cherry picker at Avondale shipyards. He alleged that he was exposed to asbestos dust through this employment and was later diagnosed with mesothelioma.

On July 16, 2021, the plaintiff filed suit in the Civil District Court for the Parish of Orleans, Louisiana, and on October 26, 2021, the defendants removed the case to federal court pursuant to …

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Motion to Remand Granted as Plaintiff Did Not Voluntarily Abandon Claim During Closing Arguments

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, November 18, 2021

In this asbestos action, the plaintiff Willard Masters commenced an action in Louisiana state court alleging negligence claims against several defendants following his development of mesothelioma. While the defendant Taylor-Seidenbach, Inc. is not diverse from Masters, the defendant Graybar Electric Company, Inc. is a New York corporation with its principal place of business in Missouri. Trial commenced and counsel for all three above-referenced parties gave closing statements to the jury.

The day after …

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Remand Denied as Plaintiff’s Fraudulent Joinder Fails to Defeat Diversity Jurisdiction

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, October 22, 2021

Plaintiff Kris Lindsey was diagnosed with mesothelioma which he alleges resulted from asbestos exposure attributable to several defendants. The plaintiff initially filed suit alleging that he had been exposed to asbestos dust as a child by his father. The plaintiff then filed an amended petition that removed those allegations and instead alleged that he was exposed to asbestos by Johnson & Johnson baby powder.

Defendant Johnson & Johnson removed this case to federal …

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Federal Officer Removal Upheld in Secondary Exposure Case

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, October 18, 2021

The plaintiff, Reginald A. Hamilton, Jr., alleged that as a child in the 1960s and 1970s he frequented his grandmother’s restaurant, the Rail Restaurant, which was walking distance from Avondale’s Main Yard, and thus was often patronized by Avondale Shipyard workers, contractors, and employees, and by military personnel. Mr. Hamilton alleged that throughout this time, he was exposed daily (or near daily) to asbestos dust brought into the restaurant by these patrons, and …

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Maritime Case Remanded Due to Denial to Exercise Ancillary Jurisdiction

U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana, August 31, 2021

In this asbestos action, plaintiff Jerome Gehant served in the U.S. Navy from 1967 until 1970 and subsequently for several employers, including McDermott, Inc. from 1984 until 1999. He alleges that his exposure to asbestos during his service and employment on ships resulted in his diagnosis of mesothelioma. He filed a petition for damages in state court (the Nineteenth Judicial District Court for the Eastern District of East Baton Rouge). Specifically, Gehant alleged …

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Motion to Remand Granted; Defendants Failed to Timely File Notice of Removal

U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina, Charleston Division, September 8, 2021

In this asbestos action, plaintiff Cynthia Warren commenced an action alleging that her husband, Bobby Warren, developed mesothelioma following exposure to asbestos from several defendants’ products, including Westinghouse. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1446(a), Westinghouse filed a Notice of Removal on September 11, 2020. Westinghouse argued that removal was timely as they removed the matter less than thirty days following the plaintiff’s service of supplemental discovery responses. The plaintiff filed a motion …

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Asbestos Action Remanded Based on Allegations Against Insulation Defendant

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, August 31, 2021

Plaintiffs David and Dorothy Bateman commenced this lawsuit in Broward County, Florida, alleging that Mr. Bateman developed mesothelioma as a result of his exposure to asbestos-containing products while serving in the British Royal Navy from 1967 to 1975. The defendants filed a notice of removal pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1332, 1441, and 1446. In response, the plaintiffs filed a motion to remand, alleging that the notice of removal was procedurally defective and …

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