NEW ORLEANS – A man’s attempt to keep his lawsuit in state court was recently quashed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
Plaintiff Larry J. Moore claims he was injured by a falling piece of equipment on the defendant’s property at Lake Charles Chemical Complex in Westlake, La.
The defendants are PPG Industries Inc. of Pennsylvania, Ron Williams Construction Inc. or Louisiana, Jonathan Manns, Angela Neugent, Mark Rhoads and others.
The defendants filed documents stating that all defendants but PPG Industries had been joined fraudulently to the case. The defense claimed that when the plaintiff attempted to add three more defendants to his case, all of whom were PPG employees and Louisiana citizens, he was attempting to defeat diversity to keep the case out of federal court.
The plaintiff claimed that the additional defendants were responsible for safety on the PPG premises, but was unable to supply evidence that the individuals were personally liable for his injuries beyond their general duties.
As a result, the district court, on recommendation from a magistrate judge, defeated Moore’s motion to amend his suit on the basis that Moore “had no reasonable possibility of recovery against them” and that the motion “would do nothing but defeat diversity.”
The appeals court found that the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying the plaintiff’s motion and affirmed the judgment.
The Circuit Court Judges were W. Eugene Davis and Edith H. Jones. The District Judge was Margaret Triche-Milazzo.
Case no. 12-31265.