United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
ALLEN MOREAU, ET AL.
WESTON SOLUTIONS, INC.
ORDER AND REASONS
L . C. FELDMAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is the plaintiffs' motion to remand. For the
reasons that follow, the motion is GRANTED.
litigation arises from personal injuries allegedly suffered
as a result of occupational exposure to Pseudomonas
aeruginosa while the plaintiff worked aboard a vessel in
the aftermath of the BP oil spill.
the BP Deepwater Horizon explosion and resulting oil spill in
April 2010, the United States Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA), contracted with Weston Solutions, Inc. to conduct
scientific testing to analyze the extent of natural resource
injuries and determine the restoration actions needed in the
Gulf of Mexico. Because Weston did not have its own vessel,
and lacked knowledge of the local waterways, it contracted
with Native Adventures LLC, owned by Allen Moreau, which
provided an unnamed vessel. Moreau alleges that he worked as
a crewmember of the vessel, and operated the vessel for
Weston from May 2010 until December 2010. Moreau alleges that
his duties included piloting and maintaining the vessel.
first learned that he was infected with the bacteria,
Pseudomonas aeruginosa, on December 15, 2015. Moreau
alleges that he became infected with the bacteria while
working for Weston on the vessel, and that Weston should have
known that the bacteria was present on the vessel.
December 12, 2016, Allen Moreau and his wife, Tammy, filed
suit in this Court, alleging Moreau contracted a bacterial
infection while working for Weston. Moreau alleged he was a
Jones Act seaman, that Weston was negligent in failing to
adopt adequate safety measures to protect him from infection,
that the vessel was unseaworthy, and that he is entitled to
maintenance and cure. Mr. Moreau seeks compensatory and
punitive damages. His wife, Tammy, seeks loss of consortium
damages. Two days after filing in this Court, on December 14,
2016, the plaintiffs filed suit in the Civil District Court
of Orleans Parish, making the same allegations. The case
pending in this Court was voluntarily dismissed a few weeks
February 3, 2017, the defendants removed the case to this
Court. On March 7, 2017, the plaintiffs moved to remand,
without citing a single legal authority; after the case was
transferred to this Court the motion was denied without
prejudice. See Order and Reasons dated 5/5/17. The
plaintiffs now move for a second time to remand this case to
Civil District Court in Orleans Parish.
plaintiff challenges removal in this case, the removing
defendants carry the burden of showing the propriety of this
Court's removal jurisdiction. See Manguno v.
Prudential Prop.& Cas. Ins. Co., 276 F.3d 720, 723
(5th Cir. 2002); see also Jernigan v. Ashland
Oil, Inc., 989 F.2d 812, 815 (5th Cir. 1993).Remand is
proper if at any time the Court lacks subject matter
jurisdiction. 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c). Given the significant
federalism concerns implicated by removal, the removal
statute is strictly construed “and any doubt about the
propriety of removal must be resolved in favor of
remand.” Gutierrez v. Flores, 543 F.3d 248,
251 (5th Cir. 2008)(citation omitted); Gasch v.
Hartford Accident & Indem. Co., 491 F.3d
278, 281-82 (5th Cir.2007)(citations omitted).
courts are courts of limited jurisdiction, possessing only
the authority granted by the United States Constitution and
conferred by the United States Congress. Howery v.
Allstate Ins. Co., 243 F.3d 912, 916 (5th Cir. 2001). A
defendant may generally remove a civil action filed in state
court if the federal court has original jurisdiction over the
case -- that is, if the plaintiff could have brought the
action in federal court from the outset. See 28
U.S.C. § 1441(a). Suits not brought under federal law
“may not be removed if any of the parties in interest
properly joined and served as defendants is a citizen of the
State in which such action is brought.” 28 U.S.C.
§ 1441(b)(2); Int'l Energy Ventures Mgmt., LLC
v. United Energy Grp., Ltd., 818 F.3d 193, 199 (5th Cir.
2016)(“when a properly joined defendant is a resident
of the same state as the plaintiff, removal is
improper.”). To determine whether it has jurisdiction,
the Court must consider ...