Magistrate Judge Recommends Remand to State Court; Removal was Timely, but Defendant Failed to Establish Two of Four Elements of Federal Officer Statute

The plaintiffs filed this personal injury suit in Delaware after the plaintiff Donnie Wines was diagnosed with mesothelioma. Both plaintiffs died before the suit was completed, and their personal representative was substituted. Defendant Rockwell Automation Inc. removed to federal court. The plaintiff filed a motion to remand, arguing: (1) that the notice of removal was untimely, and (2) Rockwell did not meet the requirements of the federal officer removal statute. The magistrate judge recommended that the court grant the plaintiff’s motion.

The plaintiff claimed exposure …

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Court Dismisses Cross-Claims for Lack of Ripeness Since There Was No Judgment Against Ford Defendants

The plaintiffs filed suit against multiple defendants for violation of the Connecticut Product Liability Act, loss of consortium, fraud and premises liability, alleging that the plaintiff Kenneth Reed contracted mesothelioma as a result of direct and secondary exposure to asbestos. After the plaintiffs settled with or dismissed sixty-three of the defendants, the complaint was amended as to the only remaining defendants: Ford Motor Company, Bridge-Haven Ford Truck Sales, Inc. and Stamford Motors (collectively, the Ford Defendants). The Ford Defendants answered the amended complaint and, in …

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Applying Connecticut Law, Court Finds Existence of Duty in Asbestos Claim Against Sporting Goods Properties, Inc.

Surviving spouse and personal representative of the decedent filed a three-count complaint against multiple defendants, alleging failure to warn, loss of consortium, and conspiracy due to damages from alleged asbestos exposure.  Defendant Sporting Goods Properties, Inc. filed a motion to strike all three counts for failure to state a claim, which plaintiff opposed.  The court denied the defendant’s motion to strike as to counts one and two, but granted as to count three.

Sporting Goods argued a clear disconnect between the duty to warn of …

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U.S. District Court of Connecticut Denies Motion to Dismiss Punitive Damages Count Based on Sufficiency of Pleading

In this case pending in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut, the plaintiffs’ third count of their complaint alleges reckless conduct by the defendants and seeks punitive damages. Defendant Aurora Pump Company moved to dismiss this count, arguing that the plaintiff failed to assert specific allegations of recklessness. The court noted, however, that the plaintiff alleges that the defendants manufactured, distributed, sold or otherwise placed into the stream of commerce products which contained asbestos and that the defendants intentionally and fraudulently concealed …

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Court Applies Admiralty Jurisdiction to Grant Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction

The plaintiff brought a claim under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) alleging asbestos exposure while a crew member on two tugboats the Navy leased to his employer, General Dynamics Corporation. The plaintiff also brought a products liability claim under Connecticut law, and his wife brought a loss of consortium claim. The defendant moved to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction under the FTCA, because the lawsuit sounds in admiralty, for which a suit under the Suits in Admiralty Act (SIAA) or the Public Vessels Act …

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Connecticut Appellate Court Affirms Dismissal of Asbestos Action for Failure to Prosecute the Action with Reasonable Diligence

The plaintiff’s decedent brought this personal injury action in August 2009, alleging that his mesothelioma was caused by exposure to asbestos from several defendants’ products. The plaintiff’s decedent died a few days after the commencement of this action and before any deposition testimony or product identification evidence was disclosed. The plaintiff was appointed as executrix of the decedent’s estate less than a month after his death. In November 2012, three years after the decedent’s death, the trial court set a trial date. The defendants moved …

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Dismissal of Asbestos Claims for Lack of Causation Under Connecticut and Maritime Law

In this case, the plaintiff presented an affidavit of decedent attesting to asbestos exposure, a death certificate confirming the mesothelioma, and co-worker depositions showing that the decedent was generally exposed to asbestos at the Groton Connecticut shipyard while overhauling nuclear submarines. Several defendants moved for summary judgment on the ground that while the plaintiff established the decedent’s exposure to asbestos during his career, there was no evidence that causally connected any of that exposure to any of the particular defendants. The court initially ruled that …

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