Defendants’ Joint Motion for Summary Judgment Failed Due to Unresolved Issues of Material Fact United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana, January 7, 2019

LOUISIANA — The plaintiff Victor Michel filed suit in state court against multiple defendants, alleging that his exposure to asbestos while working as a mechanic and generator service technician caused him to contract peritoneal mesothelioma. The defendants removed the action to the Eastern District of Louisiana, and Ford and Cummins Inc. filed a joint motion for summary judgment, arguing that the plaintiff could not show that their products substantially contributed to Michel’s mesothelioma.  Plaintiff opposed the motion.

The defendants argued jointly that they were entitled to summary judgment because the plaintiff could meet his burden of providing that their products caused Michel’s mesothelioma,  if they court granted the defendants’ motions in limine seeking to exclude the plaintiff’s experts Dr. Brody, Dr. Castleman, Dr. Staggs, Dr. Finkelstein, and Mr. DePasquale.  “But, as explained in the order denying the motions against Dr. Staggs, Dr. Finkelstein, and DePasquale, the court finds their causation opinions admissible.  These experts will testify that the asbestos in defendants’ products can cause peritoneal mesothelioma generally, and that Michel’s disease was caused by his exposure to defendants’ products” as mentioned in a previous article.

Additionally, the court’s review of the record in connection with the motions in limine “reveals that Michel’s employment history, medical history, and his testimony regarding the types of tasks he performed at work provide a reliable factual basis for the expert opinions and create a disputed issue of material fact as to whether Michel was exposed to asbestos from defendants’ products that substantially contributed to his mesothelioma.”

Therefore, the court denied the joint motion.

Only the Westlaw citation is currently available at 2019 WL 118007.

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