Dismissal of 1997 Lawsuit against Non-Party Defendants Insufficient for Summary Judgment Under Federal Employer’ Liability Act Court of Appeals of New York, February 21, 2019

NEW YORK — The plaintiff’s decedent Mason South and his wife Ann South sued Chevron Corp. and several other defendants, alleging that the defendants were responsible for causing Mason’s mesothelioma. Chevron moved for summary judgment based on a release that the plaintiff’s decedent signed when he settled a 1997 lawsuit against Texaco, Inc. and many other defendants based on his exposure to asbestos.The Supreme Court denied Chevron’s motion, reasoning that the record at that stage of the proceedings did not meet Chevron’s heightened burden under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act and admiralty law, to demonstrate that the release foreclosed the claims in the present lawsuit.

The Appellate Division affirmed, and certified to the Court of Appeals the question of whether its order was properly made. The Court of Appeals also affirmed.

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