Federal Court Declines to Find Improper Joinder of Non-Diverse Defendant

VIRGINIA – The plaintiffs, Raegena Boggs and Paul Boggs, residents of Colorado, filed their asbestos personal injury action in Kanawha County, West Virginia against numerous defendants, including Greyhound Lines, a Delaware corporation with a principal place of business in Texas; ArvinMeritor, Inc., an Indiana corporation with a principal place of business in Michigan; Carlisle Companies, Inc., a Delaware corporation with a principal place of business in Arizona; and Vimasco, a West Virginia corporation. The plaintiffs had resolved their claims with all of the defendants, except …

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Case Remanded as Res Judicata Bars Plaintiffs’ Survival Action

LOUISIANA – In 1982, Gistarve Joseph, Sr. filed suit against Avondale Industries, Inc., its executive officers, and their insurers seeking damages for occupational exposure to asbestos during his employment with Avondale between 1969 and 1982. He alleged that his exposure caused him to contract pneumoconiosis. In November 1985, Joseph settled his claims against Avondale executing a Restrictive Release and Discharge with Indemnification Agreement, which released Avondale, its executive officers, and their insurers:

“from any and all liability, claims, demands, liens, remedies, debts, rights, actions and …

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Johnson and Johnson Prevails at Motion to Transfer Venue

TENNESSEE –The plaintiff, Shawnee D. Douglas, filed a lawsuit in the Circuit Court of Hamilton County, Tennessee against Johnson & Johnson Consumer, Inc., f/k/a McNeil-PPC, Inc. and Imerys Talc America, Inc., f/k/a Luzenac America, Inc., alleging she was exposed to the defendants’ asbestos-containing or asbestos-contaminated talc. On September 26, 2017, Johnson & Johnson removed the case to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee. The plaintiff then filed suit in Missouri state court based on information connecting a Missouri entity, PTI …

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Plaintiff Granted Remand After Shipyard’s Removal to Federal Court

LOUISIANA – The plaintiff, Denis Schexnayder, alleged that he contracted lung cancer as a result of exposure to asbestos from multiple defendants, including Avondale. The plaintiff brought suit against Avondale for its failure to warn about asbestos hazards and provide adequate safety equipment and procedures. The plaintiff alleged that he and his father performed work at the Avondale shipyard pursuant to contracts between Avondale and the United States government for the construction of vessels. These contracts included requirements that Avondale use asbestos-containing materials.

On July …

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Allegation in Complaint of Exposure at Shipyard Renders Defendant’s Removal Untimely

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

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

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

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

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

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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