United States District Court, D. Maryland, Northern Division
HENRY G. NETZER, Plaintiff,
UNION CARBIDE CORP., et al., Defendants.
WILLIAM D. QUARLES, Jr., District Judge.
Henry Netzer sued Union Carbide Corp., and others, in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City in an asbestos product liability action. ECF No. 2. CBS Corp. ("CBS") removed to this Court. ECF No. 1. Pending is Netzer's motion to remand. ECF No. 120. No hearing is necessary. Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md. 2014). For the following reasons, the motion to remand will be granted.
Netzer was born in Baltimore and is a lifelong resident of Maryland. ECF No. 1 ¶ 19; see also ECF No. 125-8 at 20. From 1955 to 1979, Netzer was allegedly exposed to asbestos-containing dust. ECF No. 125-4 at 6. Asbestos-containing Micarta material was used in Netzer's father's sheet metal business; Netzer and his father sawed and sanded the material, generating dust. Id. at 34; ECF No. 125-5 at 5. From 1939 to 1972, Netzer's father worked at Westinghouse facilities and was exposed to asbestos-containing materials. ECF No. 125-4 at 34. Netzer was allegedly exposed to asbestos-containing dust from his father's work clothes when his mother shook the dust off the clothes before washing them. Id.; ECF No. 125-8 at 49. In March 2013, Netzer was diagnosed with Mesothelioma. ECF No. 125-4 at 16.
On May 14, 2013, Netzer sued Maryland-based and non-Maryland-based defendants in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City. ECF Nos. 2-1, 2-2. On May 23, 2013. CBS was served with Netzer's short form complaint. ECF No. 1 ¶ 1. On July 9, 2013, Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge John M. Glynn entered a Consolidation Order and Pre-Trial Schedule ("pre-Trial Schedule") in Netzer's case. ECF No. 125-3 at 2. The Pre-Trial Schedule included the following deadlines:
- November 13, 2013: Netzer to provide answers to interrogatories identifying worksites and asbestos-containing products at each site;
- January 27, 2014: Netzer to "identify fact witnesses who may testify at trial";
- May 7, 2014: "Last day for deposition of [Netzer's] fact witnesses he can voluntarily produce for deposition without subpoena by defendants";
- May 26, 2014: Netzer to "name most likely to use' general product identification fact witnesses from the original fact witness list who have previously been deposed";
- June 9, 2014: "Last day for deposition of [Netzer's] fact witnesses who [Netzer was] unable to voluntarily produce for deposition without a subpoena by defendants."
ECF No. 125-3 at 3-4.
On November 1, 2013, CBS received Netzer's answers to defendants' joint interrogatories. ECF No. 1 ¶ 4; see also ECF No. 125-4. On November 5, 2013, CBS received Netzer's supplemental or amended answers. ECF No. 1 ¶ 5; see also ECF No. 125-5. As to the possibility of identifying sources of Netzer's alleged asbestos exposure other than Westinghouse products, the answers and supplemental or amended answers stated that Netzer's "investigation is continuing." ECF Nos. 1 ¶ 7; 125-4 at 34; 125-5 at 7. On April 16, 2014 and May 9, 2014, Netzer served CBS with more than 700 requests for admission and 42 interrogatories and document requests. ECF Nos. 125 at 3, 125-6. No written discovery requests were served on Maryland-based defendants. ECF No. 125 at 3.
On May 14, 2014, CBS removed to this Court. ECF No. 1. On June 6, 2014, Netzer moved to remand to the Circuit Court for Baltimore City. ECF No. 120. On June 23, 2014, CBS opposed ...