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Date: 05-20-2022

Case Style:

Herbert H. Mullinex, Jr. and Patricia Mullinex v. John Crane, Inc., et al.

Case Number: 4:18-cv-00033

Judge: Douglas E. Miller

Court: United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia (Newport News County)

Plaintiff's Attorney:

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Defendant's Attorney: Gerard Ernest Wilfrid Voyer and Christopher John Wiemken

Description: Newport News, Virginia personal injury lawyers represented Plaintiffs, who sued Defendant on a product liability theory claiming to have suffered more than $75,000 in injuries and/or damages as a direct result of a defective and unreasonably dangerous product designed, manufactured and/or sold by Defendant.

Originally brought in state court, JCI removed the case pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1442(a)(1) and 1446(b) based on JCI's government contractor defense. Notice of Removal (ECF No. 1). Although the case had been pending in state court for over two years, JCI argued that removal was appropriate after Plaintiffs raised an intent to “pursue a theory of recovery based on JCI's failure to place a warning on the face of its products.” Id. at 4; see also Def's Opp'n to Pls.' Mot. to Remand (ECF No. 29, at 5). As JCI argued, Plaintiffs' theory newly implicated the government contractor defense because the Government approved all gasket specifications, “including the brandings on the face of the sheet gasket material.” Notice of Removal (ECF No. 1, at 9). This court has reviewed aspects of JCI's government contractor defense multiple times.

Outcome: For the foregoing reasons, this Report RECOMMENDS that the court DENY Plaintiffs' motion regarding warnings on the face of the gasket material (ECF No. 192) and GRANT Plaintiffs' motion regarding warnings placed elsewhere (ECF No. 201), precluding assertion of the government contractor defense to warnings on packaging, manuals, and other non-gasket-face locations, which were alleged in claims in Plaintiffs' original complaint in state court.
Mullinex v. John Crane Inc. (E.D. Va. 2022)

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