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Campbell-McCormick, Inc. v. Oliver

United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit

October 24, 2017

CAMPBELL-MCCORMICK, INC., and its remaining Director-Trustee, Robert I. McCormick, Defendant and 3rd-Party Plaintiff - Appellant,
v.
CLIFFORD OLIVER, Plaintiff - Appellee, and JUNE R. STEARNS, Plaintiff-Appellee, THE WALTER E. CAMPBELL COMPANY, INC., Defendant-Appellee, MCIC, INCORPORATED, formerly known as McCormick Asbestos Co., Defendant and 3rd-Party Plaintiff - Appellee, ATWOOD & MORRILL CO., INC.; MANVILLE TRUST PERSONAL INJURY SETTLEMENT TRUST; AURORA PUMP; CRANE CO.; GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANY; INGERSOLL-RAND CO., INC.; JOHNSON CONTROLS, INC.; MAROTTA CONTROLS, INC.; THE NASH ENGINEERING COMPANY; THE WEIR GROUP; VELAN VALVES CORP.; VIKING PUMP; WARREN PUMPS, INC., Third Party Defendants - Appellees.

          Argued: September 13, 2017

         Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Maryland, at Baltimore. Catherine C. Blake, Chief District Judge. (1:16-cv-01057-CCB)

         ARGUED:

          Steven Joseph Parrott, DEHAY & ELLISTON, L.L.P., Baltimore, Maryland, for Appellant.

          Ian Gill Thomas, BROWN GOULD KIELY LLP, Bethesda, Maryland; David Michael Sturm, TADDEOSTURM PLC, Richmond, Virginia, for Appellees.

         ON BRIEF:

          Patrick C. Smith, John C. Ruff, DEHAY & ELLISTON, L.L.P., Baltimore, Maryland, for Appellant. Daniel A. Brown, Matthew E. Kiely, BROWN GOULD KIELY LLP, Bethesda, Maryland, for Appellees Clifford Oliver and June R. Stearns. F. Ford Loker, MILES & STOCKBRIDGE, P.C., Baltimore, Maryland, for Appellee Aurora Pump Company. Gerry H. Tostanoski, TYDINGS & ROSENBERG LLP, Baltimore, Maryland, for Appellee Atwood & Morrill Company. Malcolm S. Brisker, GOODELL, DEVRIES, LEECH & DANN, LLP, Baltimore, Maryland, for Appellees Johnson Controls, Inc. and Viking Pump, Inc. Anthony B. Taddeo, Jr., TADDEOSTURM PLC, Richmond, Virginia, for Appellee Velan Valve Corp. Michael L. Haslup, Jonathan J. Huber, MILES & STOCKBRIDGE, P.C., Baltimore, Maryland, for Appellee Ingersoll-Rand Company. Robert E. Scott, Jr., Richard J. Medoff, SEMMES, BOWEN & SEMMES, Baltimore, Maryland, for Appellee Marotta Controls, Inc.

          Before KING and THACKER, Circuit Judges, and John A. GIBNEY, Jr., United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Virginia, sitting by designation.

         Appeal dismissed by published opinion. Judge King wrote the opinion, in which Judge Thacker and Judge Gibney concurred.

          KING, CIRCUIT JUDGE.

         In these proceedings, plaintiff Wayne Oliver filed a complaint in Maryland state court alleging asbestos exposure claims against, among other defendants, Campbell-McCormick, Inc. ("CMC"). In response, CMC filed a third-party complaint against several entities, including General Electric Company ("GE"). GE then removed the litigation to the District of Maryland, prompting Oliver to move to sever his claims and remand them to state court. The federal district court granted Oliver's motion and concomitantly retained jurisdiction over CMC's third-party claims, which the court stayed. See Oliver v. Campbell-McCormick, Inc., No. 1:16-cv-01057 (D. Md. July 18, 2016), ECF No. 106 (the "Order"). CMC appeals from the Order, contending that the district court erroneously severed and remanded Oliver's claims. As explained below, we dismiss the appeal for lack of appellate jurisdiction - including jurisdiction, as claimed by CMC, under the collateral order doctrine.[1]

         I.

         In December 2015, Wayne Oliver filed his complaint in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City, Maryland, alleging state law claims against CMC, the Walter E. Campbell Company, Inc., and MCIC, Incorporated. CMC then filed its third-party complaint against GE and twelve other third-party defendants, seeking contribution pursuant to the Maryland Uniform Contribution Among Joint Tort-Feasors Act. See Md. Code, Cts. & Jud. Proc. § 3-1401 (the "UCATA").[2] In April 2016, GE removed the litigation to federal district court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1442(a), asserting the federal contractor defense. A little more than a month later, in May 2016, Oliver filed his motion to sever and remand his claims. Specifically, Oliver requested the district court to decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over his state law claims pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c).

         By its Order of July 18, 2016, the district court granted Oliver's motion to sever and remand his claims, but retained jurisdiction over and stayed CMC's third-party claims. As the court explained in the memorandum opinion accompanying the Order, its discretion to decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over a state law claim is circumscribed by § 1367(c), under which "a declination is permitted only when, " inter alia, "the claim 'substantially predominates over' the claim [that accords] original or removal jurisdiction." See Oliver v. Campbell-McCormick, Inc., No. 1:16-cv-01057, at 4 (D. Md. July 18, 2016), ECF No. 105 (the "Opinion") (quoting 28 U.S.C. ยง 1367(c)). Importantly, the federal contractor defense is the only source of federal jurisdiction herein, because CMC's third-party claims are based entirely on Maryland state law, i.e., the UCATA. The Opinion deemed severance and remand of Oliver's state law claims to be appropriate, in that those claims "substantially predominate over the federal contractor defense ...


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