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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Court Reverses Verdict Against Crane Co. and Remands as to Cigarette Defendants After Daubert Challenge

Plaintiff Richard Delisle filed suit against multiple defendants alleging he developed mesothelioma as a result of exposure to sheet gaskets manufactured by Crane Co. and from the asbestos fibers from Micronite filters from smoking Kent cigarettes. The jury found both defendants’ products were a substantial contributing cause (SCC) of the development of Delisle’s mesothelioma. Both defendants unsuccessfully moved for directed verdicts and filed for appeal.

Crane Co. argued that the plaintiff’s expert, Dr. James Dahlgren should not have been permitted to testify as an expert …

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Court Denies Multiple Motions including Plaintiff and Ford Motor Co.’s Daubert Motions, Ford’s Motion for Summary Judgment and Plaintiff’s Motion for Reconsideration

Plaintiff James Waite and his wife Sandra Waite brought this action against Ford Motor Co. and Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) for Mr. Waites’ alleged development of mesothelioma from his work on brakes and clutches. UCC’s motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction was at first denied by the Court but then granted on UCC’s Motion for Reconsideration. Ford then moved to exclude the plaintiffs’ experts (Daubert Motion) and for summary judgment. The plaintiff moved to preclude various elements of Ford’s proposed expert witness testimony …

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Court Denies Aircraft Engine Manufacturer’s Motion for Summary Judgment Based on Military Contractor Defense

The plaintiff filed a Third Amended Complaint against United Technologies Corporation, alleging that UTC was liable in negligence and strict liability for the allegedly defective warnings accompanying Pratt and Whitney TF-30 aircraft engines and for their allegedly defective designs. The plaintiff claims that these defects led to her husband Darryl Dugas’ exposure to asbestos and mesothelioma.

During his service in the U.S. Navy, Mr. Dugas worked at Cecil Field in Jacksonville, Florida and aboard the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt. As part of his duties, he …

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Certainteed Obtains Spoliation Charge on Missing Pipe and Defense Verdict Following Two-and-a-Half Week Trial

On July 7, 2016 a Florida jury rendered a defense verdict on behalf of building products manufacturer Certainteed Corporation (“Certainteed”). In this case, it was alleged that the decedent was exposed to asbestos and developed mesothelioma from his work cutting couplings on Certainteed asbestos-containing irrigation pipe next to his family property for an approximate two-week period in either 1969 or 1970. Through discovery it was learned that some of the pipe was removed and reinstalled. After finding witnesses who were able to testify where the …

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