March 12, 2019 / 12:40 PM / 5 months ago

Reluctant 5th Circuit panel remands fed contractor asbestos lawsuit

Explicitly hoping to be reversed, a U.S. appeals court on Monday concluded that it must send a former Navy mechanic’s asbestos-injury lawsuit against a federal contractor back to state court.

In a 2-1 decision, the 5th U.S. Court of Appeals said it was “bound by a welter” of earlier panel decisions to remand the negligence lawsuit against Virginia-based Huntington Ingalls Inc to civil court in Orleans Parish, Louisiana. Only the full 5th Circuit or the U.S. Supreme Court can countermand those earlier decisions, even though they are “out of step with Congress and our sister circuits,” Circuit Judge Edith Jones wrote for the panel. She was joined by Circuit Judge Andrew Oldham. Circuit Judge Catharina Haynes dissented in part.

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