The opinion of the court was delivered by: Eduardo C. Robreno, J.
Objections to U.S. Magistrate Judge Strawbridge's orders denying Defendant Pennsylvania Electric Company's ("Pennsylvania Electric's") motion for judgment on the pleadings and denying Defendant Crane Company's ("Crane's") motion in limine are before the Court. For the reasons that follow, the Court overrules the objections.
On March 30, 2010, husband and wife, Valent and Ann Rabovsky ("Plaintiffs"), commenced this asbestos personal injury action in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. Notice of Removal ¶ 1, ECF No. 1. Plaintiffs allege, inter alia, that Mr. Rabovsky was exposed to asbestos-containing valves, pumps, and boilers without proper precautions or warnings while he worked as a millwright at plants and factories in Pennsylvania. Compl.
On June 9, 2010, Defendants began taking Mr. Rabovsky's deposition, which took four days. Notice of Removal ¶ 8. Mr. Rabovsky testified that at a certain power plant, he was under the chain of command of a federal officer. Id. ¶ 22. On July 1, 2010, Defendant Duquesne Light Company removed the case to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, pursuant to the federal officer removal statute. See 28 U.S.C. § 1442 (2006).
On October 19, 2011, Pennsylvania Electric moved for judgment on the pleadings for lack of jurisdiction. Mot. for J. on the Pleadings 1, ECF No. 120. Judge Strawbridge denied the motion. Order 1 n.1, Nov. 1, 2011, ECF No. 133. Pennsylvania Electric objected. Pa. Elec.'s Objections 1, ECF No. 149. And Plaintiffs responded. Resp. to Pa. Elec.'s Objections 1, ECF No. 151.
On October 14, 2011, Crane and other Defendants moved to exclude the expert testimony of John Maddox, M.D., Arnold Brody, Ph.D., and Edwin Holstein, M.D. Crane's Mot. in Limine 1-2, ECF No. 115. On January 25, 2012, Judge Strawbridge issued a memorandum opinion and order denying the motion.*fn1 Mem. Op. 1, Jan. 25, 2012, ECF No. 173; Order 1, Jan. 25, 2012, ECF. No. 174. On February 9, 2012, Crane objected.*fn2 Crane's Objections 1, ECF No. 175. Plaintiffs responded. Resp. to Crane's Objections 1, ECF No. 178.
The objections to both orders are ripe for disposition.
II.REVIEW OF MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S ORDERS
Judge Strawbridge's orders trigger two different standards of review. First, the order of November 1, 2011, denied Pennsylvania Electric's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings. As a general rule, a magistrate judge cannot "determine" a motion for judgment on the pleadings. See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A) (2006). However, the Court may refer motions for judgment on the pleadings to a magistrate judge for a report and recommendation. See id. § 636(b)(1)(B)-(C). A party may file written objections to the report and recommendation.
Id. § 636(b)(1). And the Court conducts a de novo review of those portions of the report and recommendation to which a party objects and may, if appropriate, "accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made by the magistrate judge." See id. Therefore, the Court construes Judge Strawbridge's denial of the motion for judgment on the pleadings as a report and recommendation to deny the motion and conducts a de novo review of those parts to which Pennsylvania Electric objects.
Second, the order of January 25, 2012, denied Crane's Motion in Limine to Exclude the "Each and Every Exposure Opinion." A magistrate judge may "determine" these pretrial matters. See id. (b)(1)(A). The Court also considers objections to such nondispositive orders, but reviews the order for whether it is "clearly erroneous or contrary to law." See id.; Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(a). Therefore, the Court reviews Judge ...