Correnti v. Bertram D. Stone Inc.
U.S. DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
Judge Katherine Forrest
Florida citizen Correnti suffers asbestos-related mesothelioma. Her state-law toxic tort action—filed in Manhattan supreme court—included at least seven properly served companies incorporated, or having their principal place of business, in New York. Non-New York parties Lorillard Tobacco Co. and Hollingsworth & Vose Co. (H&V) removed suit to federal district court, arguing Correnti's May 29, 2013, letter acknowledging that they were the sole remaining defendants removed the only statutory impediment to removal. District court granted Correnti's "emergency" remand motion, agreeing with her that three New York defendants remained parties despite either failing to formally appear or being subject to bankruptcy stays. Those defendants were never formally dismissed from suit. The mere fact of defendant Stone's dissolution did not result in its dismissal from Correnti's lawsuit. New York law allows a party to sue a dissolved corporation. As a result, the bankruptcy status of New York domiciliary defendants Metex and Kentile was irrelevant to removability of Correnti's lawsuit. The court also observed that the automatic stay of litigation against bankrupt Metex and Kentile was not equivalent to their voluntary dismissal.