Oakland, California (EastBayDaily) — In a significant victory for asbestos victims, including Timothy and Caroline Vest, Judge Eduardo C. Robreno, Jr. of the Asbestos Multi-District Litigation (MDL) Court (United States District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, MDL 1935, Case No. 2:11-CV-63520) in Philadelphia granted plaintiffs’ motion to remand on May 26, 2011. He ordered that the Vests’ asbestos personal injury case (Alameda County Superior Court, Case No. RG09489518) be immediately transferred back to Alameda County Superior Court.
Sign of Change for Asbestos Law
The Asbestos MDL Court was established in 1991 as the home for all asbestos lawsuits in U.S. federal courts. It currently consists of 60,000 cases and 3.5 million claims. Due to this extremely high volume of cases pending before this court, several years can go by before a case is examined and sent back to state court or the local federal district court for trial.
“Judge Robreno dealt with this case very quickly,” said California asbestos lawyer Steven Kazan. “It’s a sign of positive change that will benefit asbestos victims and their families throughout the United States, including Timothy and Caroline Vest.”
Plaintiff’s Asbestos Exposure
The Vests are represented by California mesothelioma lawyers Kazan, McClain, Lyons, Greenwood & Harley, PLC (Kazan Law). Kazan Law has a national reputation for representing people diagnosed with mesothelioma—a deadly cancer whose only known cause is exposure to airborne asbestos fibers.
Timothy Vest suffers from malignant mesothelioma caused by breathing asbestos dust. He was exposed to the asbestos at airplane maintenance hangars as a child while visiting his father, an airline pilot, and later after becoming a pilot himself, according to court documents included in TIMOTHY VEST and CAROLINE VEST vs. ALLIED PACKING & SUPPLY, INC., et al.
Defendant McDonnell Douglas Delayed Case
On January 6, 2011, only 39 days before trial was to start in Alameda County Superior Court, McDonnell Douglas Corporation, the defendant, moved the Vests’ case to federal court. McDonnell Douglas claimed that while it knew about Timothy’s asbestos exposure claim relating to civilian planes the company manufactured, it did not know until December 2010 that he was exposed to asbestos from McDonnell Douglas’ military aircraft. The company claimed that the alleged source of asbestos fibers was enough to turn this into a federal case.
When McDonnell Douglas moved the case to federal court, it delayed the case for more than four months and caused the Vest family significant hardship, says Kazan. Because of the judge’s quick action, his clients were not made to wait years, as some others have done.
The Judge’s Decision
Judge Robreno found that the removal (move to another court) was far too late. He held that McDonnell Douglas’ basis for removal was established on August 19, 2010—140 days before the removal. Timothy Vest’s father had testified on that date about work done on McDonnell Douglas military aircraft in the same hangar where Timothy Vest was exposed to asbestos.
Federal law only allows 30 days to remove once a defendant learns of a reason to do so. By wating 140 days, McDonnell Douglas sacrificed any basis for moving the case to a federal court and was ordered back to the Alameda court. Plaintiffs praised Judge Robreno’s decision. Said Kazan, “His very thorough scrutiny of the evidence before him led to the correct conclusion that McDonnell Douglas’ reason for removal was meritless.”
About Kazan Law
From offices in Oakland, California, Kazan, McClain, Lyons, Greenwood & Harley, PLC (Kazan Law) has been serving victims of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases for more than 36 years.
Contact: 1-866-804-2311 or http://www.kazanlaw.net/contact-us/.
Kazan, McClain, Lyons, Greenwood & Harley, PLC