News & Events

Contentious Removal Defense Verdict

Members of Butler Snow’s Product Liability Litigation Group recently obtained a ruling in favor of their clients on a contentious removal issue. The personal injury plaintiff filed suit in the Circuit Court of Claiborne County, Mississippi, seeking to recover damages for alleged personal injuries sustained in an on-the-job accident while working on a natural gas pipeline. The plaintiff, a Tennessee resident, named numerous entities and individuals as defendants in the matter, including his employer, the parent corporation of his employer, the owners of the pipeline, and three co-workers. Though none of the named defendants were residents of Tennessee, the plaintiff attempt to circumvent the defendants’ right to remove the case to federal court by naming as a defendant a worker who was a resident of Mississippi. The Butler Snow team led the way on removing the action to the United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi, Western Division, on the grounds that the Mississippi resident was an improperly joined party. On October 26, 2011, United States District Judge David Bramlette issued an Opinion and Order, finding that the Mississippi resident was improperly joined in the action, dismissing the Mississippi resident from the case, and holding that the removal was proper. The full opinion can be found at McGee v. Willbros Construction, US, LLC, et al., Civ. A. No. 5:11-CV-00080-DCB-JMR, 2011 WL 5082254 (S.D. Miss. Oct. 26, 2011). Members of the litigation team were Robert A. Miller and Kyle V. Miller.