Opposite Outcomes in Recent Removals Based on Diversity Hone in on Status of Remaining Defendants

A string of recent decisions on remand motions illustrates that diversity challenges are alive and well in asbestos litigation. As the landscape of defendants changes as trial approaches, so do the defenses. Whether by settlement or dismissal, the remaining defendant or defendants have taken advantage of diversity issues to remove cases to more favorable federal jurisdictions with stark contrast in results. That contrast should give defendants cause for pause prior to removal.

Recently, in Wieland v. Arvinmeritor, Inc., a brake defendant removed the case …

Continue Reading

West Virginia Law Applied in Granting Summary Judgment Due to Speculative Testimony”

DELAWARE — The plaintiff’s decedent, Marchie Dolley, a lifetime non-smoker, passed from lung cancer. The sole product identification witness was his son, Ringo, who testified about his father’s work as a truck mechanic at Ryder Truck Rental and General Truck Delivery. Ringo visited his father at the former job and later worked with him at the latter. He could not offer any specific testimony about how many times he worked on certain manufacturer’s trucks at either job, or whether original or replacement parts were used.…

Continue Reading

Prior Settlement Enforced Under FELA Leading to Dismissal of Action

The plaintiff filed suit against defendants including Norfolk Southern Railroad Company (NSRC), alleging his decedent, Aaron Cole, developed lung cancer as a result of his work as a machinist for NSRC. NSRC sought dismissal based on the fact that Cole had previously released NSRC from future liability in May of 2000. Originally, Cole filed suit in 1996 alleging occupational pneumoconiosis including asbestosis. He later signed a release with NSRC for $20,000.  The release in pertinent part stated that the plaintiff “does hereby release and forever …

Continue Reading

Case Remanded Where GE Failed to Satisfy Requirements of Federal Officer Removal Due to Plaintiff’s Specific Disclaimer of No Naval Asbestos Exposure

In this case, the plaintiff claimed that he was exposed to asbestos and contracted mesothelioma from products allegedly manufactured, supplied, installed, and/or distributed by numerous defendants. The plaintiff asserted in the complaint that he served in the U.S. Navy from 1962–66 but provided the disclaimer that the “[p]laintiff was not exposed to asbestos and is not bringing any claim for exposure to asbestos-containing products during Plaintiff’s service in the Navy.”

One of the defendants, General Electric Company (GE), removed the case to the U.S. District …

Continue Reading