Various Cases Remanded to State Court After Joinder of Law Firm Alleged to Have Induced Plaintiffs to Accept Artificially Low Settlement Amounts Extinguished Diversity Jurisdiction

Various plaintiffs (Baclaan plaintiffs) filed a motion to remand and/or abstain and a motion for leave to name a new party defendant. Other groups of plaintiffs (Toro plaintiffs and Hopkins plaintiffs) filed similar motions in their respective cases.  Defendant Arter & Hadden LLP (A&H) filed a joint memorandum in opposition to all three motions, to which all three groups of plaintiffs replied. The court granted all the motions and remanded all cases to state court.

Baclaan and Toro plaintiffs are class actions and Hopkins is …

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Grant of Remand to State Court Reversed in Favor of Shipyard Defendants

The plaintiffs brought this action in state court against numerous defendants including Foster Wheeler LLC and Foster Wheeler Energy Corporation alleging Mr. Ripley developed mesothelioma while working as a boilermaker at Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Virginia from 1969-72 and again from 1974 until the late 1970s. Foster Wheeler removed the case based on the federal officer removal statute. Specifically, Foster Wheeler asserted the government contractor defense. The plaintiff moved to remand. Following “decades old practice of denying the government contractor defense in a failure to …

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Identity of Navy Ship Where Plaintiff Served Enough to Trigger Federal Officer Removability Clock

Plaintiff Marvin Smith alleged asbestos exposure while serving as a fireman in the U.S. Navy from 1951-54, and while working as a fireman and warehouseman at various shipyards and warehouses. The plaintiff and his wife sued various defendants in state court after he was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma. Defendant Crane Co. removed this mesothelioma case to federal court under the federal officer removal statute; the plaintiffs moved to remand, alleging untimely removal, which the court granted.

The plaintiffs argued removability was ascertainable when Smith was …

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Plaintiff’s Motion for Costs, Fees, Expenses, and Sanctions Denied but Granted as to Remand for Untimely Removal

The plaintiff brought this suit against numerous defendants including Ford Motor Company. She alleged that the decedent developed and passed from mesothelioma as a result of exposure to dust from products manufactured, sold, and distributed while Mr. Bristol worked as a mechanic at a Ford dealership from 1972-1989.

Ford removed the case a day after trial began and well over a year from the date the complaint was filed. The plaintiff moved for sanctions and to remand stating that Ford failed to obtain consent of …

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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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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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Remand Granted Based on Finding that Plaintiffs Acted in Good Faith Naming Defendant With State Contact

The plaintiffs sued multiple defendants including several “citizens” of California. Four days before trial defendant John Crane Inc. removed the case to federal court on diversity. The plaintiff then moved to remand.

The court began its analysis by stating the legal standard for removal which permits removal when the federal court could have “exercised original jurisdiction” in the case. Additionally, the burden falls upon the removing defendant. A case may be removed under diversity unless one of the parties is a properly joined and served …

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Plaintiff’s Attempt to Avoid Federal Subject Matter Jurisdiction by Disclaiming Federal Officer Claims Unsuccessful

The plaintiff asserted various claims against 78 defendants due to mesothelioma developed from alleged asbestos exposure incurred during his civilian work in the Navy from 1958-64, Kambien from 1966-69, and Polaroid from 1969-97.  The plaintiff attempted to make the action un-removable by disclaiming any relief for injuries sustained upon a federal enclave or as a result of malfeasance of persons acting as federal officers. However, the plaintiff’s deposition testimony triggered defendant Crane’s right to remove.  Crane timely removed and the plaintiff moved to remand, which …

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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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Indiana Found to be Proper Venue in Federal Court Case that was Previously Transferred Based on Convenience and in the Interest of Justice

In this federal court case, the plaintiff, Clovis Aresnault, commenced an action in the Northern District of Indiana alleging exposure to asbestos while working in steel mills in Illinois and at a plant located both in Illinois and the Northern District of Indiana. The case was transferred to the Eastern District of Pennsylvania as part of the multi-district litigation. The case was remanded back to Indiana after an order granted part of defendant’s motion for summary judgment. The plaintiff subsequently moved to transfer the case …

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