Equitable Considerations Warrant Granting Plaintiff’s Motion to Remand in Talc Matter

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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 plaintiff argued remand was appropriate for the following reasons:

  1. J&J notice of removal was untimely
  2. The court lacks subject matter jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. Section 1334(b) because the claims are not sufficiently related to the Imerys bankruptcy proceeding
  3. Mandatory abstention is warranted
  4. Equitable factors weigh heavily in favor of remand

The court noted that since the Delaware District Court denied J&J’s motion to fix venue, J&J’s request to hold the remand motion in abeyance was rendered moot. Therefore, the court only addressed the plaintiff’s arguments.

The court held that equitable factors weigh heavily for remand. As such, they did not need to address the other arguments. The court granted the plaintiff’s motion.

Read the case decision here.