Sunday, June 2, 2013

Twelve Asbestos Plaintiffs' Claims Dismissed Under Rule 41(b) for Noncompliance with Administrative Order

The Third Circuit has upheld the dismissal of twelve plaintiffs' claims in the Asbestos MDL for failure to comply with an administrative order requiring them to include specific histories of their exposure to asbestos.  The first paragraph of the opinion is:

This appeal comes to us from Multidistict Litigtion case number 875 ("MDL 875"), otherwise known as the "Asbestos MDL," involving asbestos cases from around the country, pending before Judge Robreno in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.  The District Court, overseeing several thousand asbestos cases, dismissed the claims of twelve Plaintiffs pursuant to Rule 41(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure based on non-compliance with the District Court's Administrative Order No. 12 ("AO 12").  Specifically, Judge Robreno determinated that the Plaintiffs' submissions were fatally flawed in that they failed to include specific histories of Plaintiffs' exposure to asbestos.  Plaintiffs contend on appeal, as they did in the District Court, that AO 12 did not impose this requirement, and urge, alternatively, that even if it did, under a proper balancing of the factors we outlined in Poulis v. State Farm Fire and Casulaty Company, 747 F.2d 863 (3d Cir. 1984), dismissal with prejudice was not warranted.  For the reasons discussed below, we will affirm the District Court's dismissal of the twelve cases at issue.

In re: Asbestos Products Liability Litigation, No. 12-2061 (3d Cir. May 31, 2013).


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