Summary Judgment Granted for Cleaver-Brooks in Shipyard Case

WASHINGTON – The plaintiff’s decedent, Thomas Deem, worked at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard from 1974 to 1981. Two of Deem’s co-workers testified that he was exposed to asbestos while working around pumps, valves, turbines, compressors, steam traps, and other equipment on various ships as a marine machinist. Cleaver-Brooks filed a motion for summary judgment under maritime law because the plaintiff’s claim for wrongful death under Washington law was previously dismissed as time-barred.

Under maritime law, the plaintiff must show that the decedent was actually …

Continue Reading

Two Discovery Disputes Resolved in Favor of Plaintiff; One Resolved in Favor of Toyota

WASHINGTON – The court recently ruled on a motion for protective order filed by the defendants, Toyota Motor Corporation and Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. (collectively, Toyota), regarding second amended notices of deposition directed to their corporate representatives, pursuant to F.R.C.P. 30(b)(6). Toyota objected to a series of inquiries, which were distilled down to three primary areas:

  1. Overbreadth and disproportionality as to time frame
  2. Overbreadth and disproportionality as to products at issue
  3. Invasion of attorney-client privilege and/or work product protections.

Toyota provided red-lined versions of …

Continue Reading

Unclear Corporate Representative Topics Leads to Grant of Protective Order for Brake Manufacturer

WASHINGTON – In a case extensively covered by the Asbestos Case Tracker, the defendant Pneumo Abex  filed a motion for protective order in reply to the plaintiff’s Third Amended Notice of 30(b)(6) deposition of Abex. The first 30(b)(6) notice identified 71 topics, and after a meet and confer, was whittled down to 34. Abex agreed to tender the witness for 32 of the 34 topics, and filed the instant motion.

The two disputed topics were:

  1. Abex’s corporate values and codes of conduct regarding the
Continue Reading

Pump Defendant Granted Summary Judgment Based on Lack of Proximate Exposure

WASHINGTON – In a case extensively covered by the Asbestos Case Tracker, the court granted the summary judgment motion of pump defendant Ingersoll-Rand. Rudie Klopman-Baerselman, the decedent, alleged that he developed mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos through his work on equipment while he served in the Merchant Marines. As proof of exposure, the plaintiff had produced documents indicating the presence of Ingersoll-Rand pumps and compressors aboard ships on which the decedent served, as well as expert reports opining that he would have …

Continue Reading

Expert Report Summarizing Exposure to General Products Insufficient to Defeat Pump Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment

WASHINGTON – , A federal court in Washington granted a summary judgment motion brought by pump defendant Air & Liquid Systems Corporation (Buffalo Pump) in a case extensively covered by the Asbestos Case Tracker dealing with Merchant Mariner Rudie Klopman-Baerselman, the decedent  who died of mesothelioma. As proof of exposure, the plaintiff had produced an inspection report for the HMS Ranee from 1943 referencing Buffalo Pump.  The plaintiff also produced an expert report by James Delaney, a navel expert, opining that asbestos-containing thermal insulation would …

Continue Reading

Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment Granted Due to Lack of Causation

In a case extensively covered by Asbestos Case Tracker, the Western District of Washington considered another defendant, Henry Company LLC’s, motion for summary judgment.

The seminal products liability case in Washington, Lockwood v. AC & S, Inc., enumerates seven factors to consider when “determining if there is sufficient evidence for a jury to find that causation has been established:”

  1. The plaintiff’s proximity to an asbestos product when the exposure occurred;
  2. The expanse of the work site where asbestos fibers were released;
  3. The extent
Continue Reading

Three Defendants Granted Summary Judgment in Maritime Case Pending in Washington

WASHINGTON – The plaintiff, Donald Yaw, filed a lawsuit against numerous equipment manufacturers alleging that he suffered injuries as a result of asbestos exposure. The plaintiff experienced his exposure while working as a shipfitter at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard from 1964 to 2001. The plaintiff was deposed before he passed away, but did not remember working on any particular product on any ship. The plaintiff’s expert, Captain Arnold Moore, opined that the plaintiff was exposed to asbestos while others were removing insulation, packing, and gaskets …

Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Decision Quells Disagreement Over Bare Metal Defense in Maritime Cases

In the past few years, the bare metal defense has seen inconsistent and nebulous holdings around the nation. The bare metal defense vindicates an asbestos defendant that manufactured a product that was made of only metal without asbestos but later utilized asbestos components within its products. The defense is commonly seen amongst pump and valve manufacturers and also in United States Navy cases, thereby implicating maritime law. Examples of trial courts granting summary judgment for the defense only to be overturned on appeal are readily …

Continue Reading

Supplier Defendant Granted Summary Judgment for Lack of Evidence of Exposure

As the Asbestos Case Tracker recently reported, on August 5, 2019, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington recently ruled on several defendants motions for summary judgment. In the complaint, the plaintiff alleges that Rudie Klopman-Baerselman (decedent) was exposed to asbestos-containing products sold or supplied by the supplier defendant, causing the decedent to develop mesothelioma in July 2017 and pass away in November 2017. In the supplier defendant’s motion for summary judgment, it argued that:

  1. The plaintiff was unable to identify
Continue Reading

Summary Judgment Granted for Brake Manufacturer Based Upon Lack of Product Identification

WASHINGTON – The plaintiff filed suit in Washington state court alleging that decedent, Rudie Klopman-Baerselman, developed mesothelioma from exposure to brakes manufactured by Standard Motor Products (SMP), which he used while performing maintenance on his vehicles from 1966 to 1997. The case was removed to federal court. SMP moved for summary judgment based upon a lack of product identification evidence. The plaintiff did not oppose the motion.

Although the plaintiff alleged in the complaint that the decedent used SMP products, no witnesses testified as such. …

Continue Reading