Defense attorneys in asbestos mass tort case seek to transfer matter out of Phila. Common Pleas Court

By Jon Campisi | Sep 5, 2012

Attorneys for one of the defendants named in a mass tort asbestos complaint initiated by

a Pennsylvania couple have filed a notice with the U.S. District Court in Philadelphia seeking to move the case from state court to the federal venue.

Barbara J. Buba and Michael J. Block, of the firm Wilbraham, Lawler & Buba, filed their Notice of Removal Aug. 31 at the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on behalf of Heidelberg USA Inc., one of two defendants named in a lawsuit filed by Bangor, Pa. residents James and Donna Palmer.

Heidelberg USA is successor-in-interest to Mergenthaler Linotype Company.

The other defendant listed in the litigation is the Harris Corporation.

The mass tort was originally filed Aug. 14 at the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas by lawyer Gonen Haklay of the Philadelphia firm Cohen, Placitella & Roth and attorney Claudine Q. Homolash of Sheller P.C.

In their suit, the plaintiffs claim that James Palmer’s asbestos exposure during his working years caused him to develop mesothelioma, which he was diagnosed with on April 10 of this year.

James Palmer, who smoked cigarettes from age 18 until the 1970s, and still smokes the occasional cigar, worked as a machinist from 1962 to 1977, a fact that he believes led to his developing lung cancer, since he was exposed to asbestos containing products at the time, his lawsuit shows.

The suit contains counts of negligence and outrageous conduct, strict liability, conspiracy and breach of warranty.

The lawsuit was originally filed as a short-form complaint in the master asbestos litigation docket at Philadelphia’s Common Pleas Court.

In the removal notice, Heidelberg USA attorneys argue that the matter belongs in federal court because there is diversity of citizenship among the parties and the amount in controversy exceeds that of the state court’s jurisdiction.

The state court case ID number is 120801279 and the new federal court case number is 2:12-cv-05034-ER.

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