Fire-Door Manufacturer’s Affidavit Based Only on Personal Knowledge Not Enough to Overcome Plaintiff’s Decedent’s Testimony About Exposure to Their Product Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department, New York, May 16, 2019
NEW YORK – The defendant Algoma Hardwoods, Inc. filed a motion for summary judgment in the instant matter, contending via an affidavit signed by its principal that it did not sell or distribute asbestos-core fire doors in the New York metropolitan area where the plaintiff’s decedent worked during the relevant time period and therefore he could not have been exposed to their product. The affidavit was based on the principal’s personal knowledge, but was unaccompanied by documentation such as sales records substantiating the averments.
The lower court denied Algoma’s motion, stating that the plaintiff’s decedent’s testimony describing his work cutting and drilling fire-door product bearing the name Algoma during the relevant period coupled with New York City Board of Standards meeting minutes discussing approvals of fire-doors created issues of triable fact.
The Appellate Division agreed that the evidence created triable issues of fact, and that it was up to the trier to determine the weight accorded to each side. The denial was upheld.
Read the case decision here.