Plaintiff’s Failure to Establish Minimum Contacts Leads to Dismissal for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction

FLORIDA — The plaintiff alleged he was exposed to products manufactured by the defendant or its predecessor from 1975-1977 in Florida. The defendant submitted an affidavit confirming it had no contacts in Florida before 1994. However, its predecessor ran an operations plant in Florida in the early 1980’s, after the alleged exposure. The plaintiff put forth no evidence of minimum contacts other than the allegation of use of defendant’s products in the 1970’s according to the Court. Relying on Southern Wall Products, the Court …

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Joint Compound Defendant Dismissed for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction on Appeal

FLORIDA — The plaintiff Steven Bolin alleged that he developed mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos from his work with various products in Florida from 1969 to 1981. Specific to the appellant, Bolin’s amended complaint alleged that he used Southern Wall Products’ (SWP) joint compound while working as a laborer and/or construction worker in Florida in 1975-1977. SWP moved to dismiss the complaint for lack of personal jurisdiction, and in support, supplied an affidavit averring that SWP and its predecessor Ruco never had an office in …

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Lack of Personal Jurisdiction over Talc Defendant Leads to Grant of Summary Judgment in Part

FLORIDA — The plaintiff Susan Stevenson maintained suit against several defendants including Imerys Tac America Inc. (Imerys) alleging that her decedent, Judith Minneci, had developed peritoneal mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos contaminated talc and talcum powder. Specifically, the plaintiff alleged that the plaintiff used Johnson and Johnson baby powder from 1942-1985.

Imerys moved for summary judgment arguing that the Court lacked personal jurisdiction over it. The plaintiff responded that two contacts between Florida and the defendant established jurisdiction. First, its predecessor was …

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$8.5 Million Verdict Affirmed Against Premises Defendant

Plaintiffs Dennis Britt and Rosa-Maria Britt filed suit after Dennis Britt was diagnosed with mesothelioma. Britt ultimately passed away from the disease and Rosa-Marie Britt continued as personal representative of his estate and added a wrongful death claim.

Britt was an employee benefits advisor from 1978-1997 where he visited various commercial and industrial facilities to speak with, and enroll, employees of these facilities, some of which were owned and operated by the defendant. Prior to his death, Britt testified that during the course of his …

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Case Remanded to Florida State Court Because Defendant Not Fraudulently Joined to Defeat Diversity

In this case alleging asbestos exposure from talc, mesothelioma plaintiff filed a motion to remand back to Florida state court after defendant Johnson & Johnson removed to federal court based upon diversity jurisdiction. The defendant argued that the plaintiff fraudulently joined defendant Publix Super Markets, Inc. (Publix) to destroy diversity. The court determined Publix was not fraudulently joined and remanded.

In determining remand, the court must evaluate the factual allegations in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. If there is even a possibility that …

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Federal Court Denies Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss on Jurisdiction Without Prejudice

On September 26, 2016, Plaintiff Marc Killam filed suit in the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit in and for Hilsborough County, Florida against various defendants after learning of his asbestosis diagnosis. Killam alleged he was exposed to asbestos through his Naval Service, from 1973-77 aboard the USS McCandless while at sea and in the Philadelphia Navy Yard. Here, Killam claims a number of defendants manufactured, sold, distributed, installed, or promoted the asbestos products with which he came into contact. He also alleged, that from 1978-80, as an …

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Crane Asserted a Colorable Federal Defense to Establish Jurisdiction Under Federal Officer Removal Statute

The plaintiff sued various defendants for negligence, strict liability, and fraudulent inducement. Crane removed to federal court under the federal officer removal statute, and plaintiff moved to remand. The court denied this motion.

To remove under Section 1442(a)(1) the defendant must qualify as a “person” under the federal officer removal statute, must act under the direction of a federal officer at the time the defendant engaged in the allegedly tortious act, and must advance a “colorable federal defense.” Also, a causal connection must appear between …

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Remand Denied Under Federal Officer Jurisdiction Analysis for Plaintiff Alleging Asbestos Exposure in U.S. Navy

Plaintiff Marc Killiam served in the U.S. Navy from 1973 to 1977 aboard the USS McCandless while at sea and in the Philadelphia Navy Yard. He alleges that as a boiler tender he removed and replaced various asbestos containing products and that exposure to asbestos from those products caused his asbestosis. He filed suit in Hillsborough County, Florida on September 26, 2016 against various defendants, including Crane Co. Crane removed the case to the U.S. District Court on October 13, 2016 pursuant to 28 U.S.C. …

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Court Affirms Judgment for Defendant Carnival Cruise Line That Set Aside a $3.6M Verdict

On October 19, 2016, the Third District Court of Appeal, State of Florida, affirmed a final judgment in favor of defendant Carnival Corporation, finding no merit.

In the original case at bar, the plaintiff, Giovanna Settimi Caraffa, individually and as personal representative of the estate of Benedetto Emanuele Caraffa, deceased, filed suit in the Circuit Court of the 11th Judicial Circuit in and For Miami-Dade County, Florida, alleged among other things, that the decedent was injured as a result of asbestos exposure while working and …

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Breakdown of $21 Million Verdict in Miami, Florida

On August 30, 2016, a Miami, Florida jury awarded nearly $21.4 million in damages to Richard Batchelor and his wife, Regina, in a case where the plaintiffs alleged that Bechtel Corporation caused his mesothelioma. The case proceeded only against the defendants Bechtel Corporation and Foster Wheeler Energy Corporation, as Foster Wheeler settled the day before the verdict. The verdict sheet demonstrates that, after the jury found that negligence on the part of Bechtel was a legal cause of the plaintiff’s damages, the jury turned to …

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