General Electric Granted Summary Judgment on the Bare Metal Defense Under Maritime Law

The plaintiff commenced this action by claiming he was exposed to insulation on General Electric products while in the U.S. Navy. GE moved for summary judgment on three grounds: the government contractor defense, the bare metal defense under maritime law, and on no evidence of GE actually furnishing the component parts. The court ruled that maritime law — rather than New Jersey law — governed the case.

The court only addressed the bare metal defense, ruling that GE was entitled to summary judgment: “The Court is persuaded by the thorough and thoughtful analysis set forth in Conner and finds that, under maritime law, GE is entitled to summary judgment pursuant to the “bare metal” defense. There is no evidence in the record to suggest that GE manufactured or distributed any asbestos containing products that allegedly caused Shearer’s illness. Plaintiff agrees that there is no evidence linking GE to the production or distribution of any material containing asbestos. For these reasons, summary judgment is granted.”

Read the full decision here.