Removal Under Federal Enclave Jurisdiction Deemed Timely

PENNSYLVANIA — The plaintiff, Harald Mehnert, filed suit in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas, alleging he suffered from mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure incurred while working on Mass Spectrometers at the U.S. Geological Survey Department in Denver, Colorado, from 1959 to 1995. He filed suit on November 27, 2017 and all defendants were served with process by January 17, 2018. The complaint did not allege the location of the plaintiff’s work. On April 3, 2018, the plaintiff served answers to interrogatories indicating that he worked at the Denver Federal Center Building in Lakewood, Colorado. Thereafter, defendants removed on the basis of federal enclave jurisdiction. The plaintiff filed a motion to remand.

The plaintiff argued that defendants should have known from the face of the complaint that the plaintiff worked in a federal building. The court ruled that since the complaint did not specify as such, and defendants had no duty to investigate beyond the face of the complaint, their removal was timely. The plaintiff’s motion to remand was therefore denied.