U.S. Appeals Court Sends Asbestos Cancer Lawsuit Back to State Court for Trial

The family of a mesothelioma cancer victim can breathe a small sigh of relief after a U.S. Appeals Court affirmed a lower District Court ruling that will send the asbestos injury lawsuit back to state court for trial. Attorneys for the defendant in the case had attempted to use a little known legal statute to keep the lawsuit out of state court and potentially have the case heard in front of a federal judge that may be more favorable to arguments from the defense.

According to the mesothelioma cancer lawsuit, the victim in the case passed away from complications related to her condition, which was brought on by secondhand exposure of asbestos. The lawsuit claimed that the plaintiff’s father, who worked at Avondale Shipyard in Louisiana, frequently came home with asbestos fibers on his clothes and that his daughter, the plaintiff, would do his laundry for him and developed mesothelioma as a result.

The asbestos lawsuit goes on to claim that the defendant, Avondale, was negligent in his handling of asbestos insulation around its business and did nothing to warn employees despite knowing about the risks. An expert witness for the plaintiffs testified that Avondale Shipyard had no oversight from federal regulators and that any lapses in safety were the result of the defendant’s shortcomings and not a federal agency.

Defense attorneys for Avondale Shipyard tried to invoke the federal officer removal statute under the premise that the shipyard acted under the direction of a federal entity and the case should therefore be heard in federal court. A federal District Court disagreed with the defendant’s arguments and remanded the case back to state court for trial but that decision was appealed to a federal Appeals Court for reconsideration.

In taking up the issue, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court’s decision to remand the case back to state court. Now, the victim’s five surviving brothers will have the opportunity to bring the case in front of a jury of their sister’s peers and hold Avondale Shipyard responsible for its indifference to the safety of its workers.

The case is another classic example of the lengths many defendants will go to skirt liability and avoid compensating victims for the harm they have caused by choosing to put profits ahead of the health and safety of ordinary people. Fortunately, the law gives plaintiffs the right to hire experienced and dedicated mesothelioma lawyers to represent their legal interests and compel wrongdoers to accept responsibility for their negligence acts.

Arizona Mesothelioma Lawyer

 If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact our office to speak to one of our experienced Arizona mesothelioma attorneys about your situation. Our office can help investigate your case and determine if compensation can be sought from negligent parties to help pay for your medical treatment to help you and your family live a more comfortable life.

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