U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona has dismissed a lawsuit against the U.S. Veterans Affairs and the U.S. Navy after the man suing them paid a $400 filing fee with a rubber check and failed to comply with the court’s deficiency notice.
Johannes Weber, who claims to be a U.S. veteran based in Thailand, filed the $5-million lawsuit for his lung disease that he allegedly incurred after being exposed to asbestos fibers while serving in a U.S. Navy vessel in 1972 and 1973.
Manglona dismissed the lawsuit without prejudice after Weber paid a $400 filing fee with a bounced check and failed to comply with the court’s deficiency notice.
Dismissal without prejudice means the plaintiff can still refile his lawsuit.
The judge said the court has not received from Weber a portion of the outstanding $453 fees, including the $53 return check fee.
Weber filed his lawsuit without a lawyer on July 8, 2013, and paid the $400 filing fee with a personal check.
The court’s clerk then notified Manglona that the check was returned unpaid on July 31, 2013, because the account on which it was drawn has been closed. The return-check fee of $53 has been assessed.
The court also ordered Weber to send to the clerk a cashier’s check or money order drawn on a U.S. bank in the amount of $453 in filing fee and return-check fee.
Weber was notified that if payment is not received within 30 days, the lawsuit will be dismissed.
Manglona said that, on Sept. 27, 2013, Weber acknowledged receipt of the deficiency notice and order.
Weber sued the U.S. Navy for negligence because he was allegedly under orders from his then military superiors to perform work in the engineering spaces of the U.S. Navy vessel where he was exposed to asbestos without proper safety equipment.