Seventh Circuit Reverses Remand Order in Removal Based on Federal Officer Removal Statute - Henry Ruppel v. CBS Corporation, --- F.3d ---, 2012WL5971242 (7th Cir., Nov. 30, 2012)

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On November 30, 2012, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit reversed an order of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois remanding an asbestos suit to Illinois state court. The suit alleged CBS' predecessor-in-interest, Westinghouse Corporation, caused Plaintiff Henry Ruppel's mesothelioma. Westinghouse included asbestos in turbines it supplied to the United States Navy, and Plaintiff Ruppel was allegedly exposed to the asbestos in these turbines during his Naval service and later when he worked on an aircraft carrier as a civilian. CBS removed the suit to federal court. In its notice of removal, CBS asserted it was entitled to governmental contractor immunity, which is a federal defense. Plaintiff Ruppel filed a motion to remand, which the District Court granted without giving CBS a chance to oppose the motion. According to the District Court, Ruppel had sued CBS for only failing to warn him about the dangers of asbestos for which, according to the District Court, there is no federal defense available.

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