Court Grants Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss Cross-Claims Based on Sovereign Immunity Doctrine United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana, December 13, 2019

In Carey Gomez v. Aardvark Contractors, Inc. et al., the court recently opined regarding a defendant’s motion to dismiss in an asbestos-related action. The plaintiff filed suit in March 2018, alleging asbestos exposure from multiple sources, including his own work as a plumber from 1988 through 2011, as well as secondarily through his father’s employment at the Avondale Shipyards in the 1960s. The plaintiff was diagnosed with mesothelioma, which led to his petition of damages against multiple defendants. Two defendants filed their answers, affirmative defenses, cross-claims, third-party demands, and requests for jury trial naming all of the original defendants as cross-claim defendants. Thereafter, the board of supervisors for the Louisiana University System through Nicholls State University at Thibodaux moved to dismiss with respect to the co-defendants’ cross-claims. The first defendant dismissed its cross-claim against Nicholls State, and the other did not file any opposition to Nicholls State’s motion. In support of its motion to dismiss, Nicholls State argued that under the sovereign immunity clause of the Eleventh Amendment, it was an arm of the state, and, therefore, the claims against them were barred as a matter of law. The court agreed with Nicholls State, and held that its motion to dismiss with regards to the first defendant’s cross claims was moot, and granted the motion with respect to the latter defendant’s cross-claims.

Read the case decision here.