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Grimes v. AT&T Corp.

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

August 17, 2018

ESTELLE GRIMES, Individually and as Administrator for the Estate of Thomas Grimes, and Individual Heirs of the Estate of Thomas Grimes, Plaintiff,
v.
AT&T CORP., et al., Defendants.

          OPINION

          HON. KEVIN MCNULTY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiff Estelle Grimes, individually and as the administrator of the estate of her husband, Thomas Grimes, and on behalf of his individual heirs ("Grimes"), brings suit against, among others, AT&T Corp. ("AT&T"), Bayonne Plumbing Supply Co., Inc. ("Bayonne Plumbing"), Koenig Industrial Hardware ("Koenig"), and Mooney Brothers Corp. ("Mooney"), alleging that Mr. Grimes's mesothelioma was caused by exposure to asbestos or asbestos-containing products mined, milled, manufactured, sold, supplied, purchased, marketed, installed and/or removed by the defendants.

         Before the Court are four motions for summary judgment: 1) AT&Ts (ECF No. 184); 2) Bayonne Plumbing's (ECF No. 185); 3) Koenig's (ECF No. 187); and 4) Mooney's (ECF No. 188). For the reasons set forth below, I will sua sponte remand the case to the Superior Court of New Jersey, Middlesex County on jurisdictional grounds.

         I. Procedural History

         On October 28, 2015, Thomas Grimes and Estelle Grimes, who are husband and wife, filed their initial Complaint in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Middlesex County. (ECF No. 1-1 at p. 3-29). The Complaint alleged that Mr. Grimes was "exposed to dust from asbestos and asbestos-containing products" while serving in the Navy and while working at Western Electric in Kearny, New Jersey. (Id. at 3). The Complaint was filed against 37 Defendants, each of which allegedly "mined, milled, manufactured, sold, supplied, purchased, marketed, installed and/or removed asbestos or asbestos-containing products" to which Mr. Grimes was exposed. (Id. at 3-11).

         The Defendants were:

1) AT&T, individually and as successor-in-interest to Western Electric Company;
2) Asbestos Corporation Limited, in itself and as successor to Johnson's Company ("ACL");
3) Bell Asbestos Mines LTD ("Bell");
4) Allied Building Products Corp. ("Allied Building");
5) Allied Glove & Safety Products Manufacturing Corp. ("Allied Glove");
6) Bayonne Plumbing, individually, as successor to and doing business as the RAL Corporation and Bayonne Plumbing & Supply Co.;
7) Bergen Industrial Supply Co. Inc. ("Bergen Industrial");
8) Binskey & Snyder, Inc. ("Binskey & Snyder");
9) Buffalo Pumps, Inc., individually and as successor to Buffalo Forge Co. ("Buffalo Pumps");
10) Calon Insulation Corp. ("Calon Insulation");
11) CBS Corp., f/k/a Westinghouse Electric Corporation ("CBS Corp.");
12) Central Jersey Supply Company ("Central Jersey Supply");
13) Certainteed Corporation, formerly CertainTeed Products Corporation, individually and as successor to Keasbey and Mattison Company and Unisul ("Certainteed");
14) Crane Company ("Crane"};
15) Elizabeth Industrial Supply, a division of Charles F. Guyon ("Elizabeth Industrial");
16) FMC Corporation, individually and as successor to Peerless Pumps ("FMC")
17) Flowserve U.S. Inc. ("Flowserve");
18) Foster Wheeler Corporation ("Foster Wheeler");
19) General Electric Company ("General Electric");
20) Gould Pumps, Inc. ("Gould Pumps");
21) IMO Industries Inc., individually and as successor-in-interest to, and f/k/a Delaval Turbine Inc., TransAmerica Delaval ...

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