Leite v. Crane Co., No. 12-16864 (9th Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
Plaintiffs, machinists at Pearl Harbor, filed suit against defendants under state tort law on the theory that defendants failed to warn them of the hazards posed by asbestos used in and around equipment defendants sold to the Navy. Defendant Crane removed the actions to federal court under the federal removal statute, 28 U.S.C. 1442. The district court denied plaintiffs' motions to remand to state court and certified their orders for interlocutory appeal. The federal officer removal statute authorizes removal of a civil action brought against any person "acting under" an officer of the United States "for or relating to any act under color of such office." In this instance, Crane established that it is a "person" within the meaning of the statute, a causal nexus exists between plaintiffs' claims and the actions Crane took under the federal officer's direction, and it has a "colorable" federal defense to plaintiffs' claims. Accordingly, the court affirmed the district court's orders.