A manufacturer of an allegedly defective product may attempt to remove a personal injury lawsuit from state court to federal court, in the belief that a federal jury will be less sympathetic to plaintiffs. The most common basis for removal in such a case is diversity of citizenship, that the parties are citizens of different states and, therefore, as long as certain other conditions are met, the proper jurisdiction is federal court.
In this case, Ford Motor Company, Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations LLC, and two other companies, Woodmere Motors and M&D Automotive (“the Bridgestone Defendants”), filed a notice of removal after a lawsuit was filed following the deaths of a man and woman when a Bridgestone tire on their 1995 Ford Explorer failed catastrophically.
The basis for removal in this proceeding was that plaintiffs, citizens of Alabama, had no case against Woodmere, a corporation which was also a citizen of Alabama, and that without that defendant, the opposing parties would be from different states and the case should go to federal court. Continue reading