Insulation Supplier Denied Summary Judgement Based On Residual Market Place Arguments United States District Court, M.D. North Carolina, August 8, 2018
NORTH CAROLINA — The plaintiff brought suit against a dozen entities alleging her decedent’s exposure in the tire curing room of the Firestone factory in Wilson, North Carolina from 1975 to 1995. The plaintiff alleged that Covil Corporation was the supplier of asbestos containing pipe covering that was used to insulate steam lines located throughout the curing room. Covil moved for summary dismissal arguing that there was insufficient evidence to conclude that it was the supplier of the asbestos containing pipe covering located in the curing room. In response, the plaintiff submitted evidence that, with limited exception, Covil was the exclusive supplier of the asbestos insulation to the Firestone factory, and that a Covil invoice showed the insulation it sold was specifically intended to be installed in the tire curing room. Covil additionally contended that even if it had supplied the subject insulation, there was no evidence that it contained asbestos. In that regard, Plaintiff submitted evidence that Owens-Corning sold Kaylo brand covering to Covil in relation to the construction of the Wilson tire plant, which took place from 1973 to 1974. While the record established that Owens corning had ceased manufacturing asbestos containing Kaylo insulation in November 1972, it further established that Owens-Corning continued making sales of asbestos containing Kaylo pipe insulation for several months thereafter, and Covil’s corporate representative agreed that it would have taken a year to clear out Covil’s remaining inventory of asbestos containing Kaylo pipe insulation. Lastly the court noted the 1990’s era abatement of pipe insulation from the curing room, as further evidence that the insulation sold by Covil contained asbestos. In the alternative Covil successfully moved to dismiss several causes of action sounding in breach of implied warranty, premises liability, negligent retention and supervision, inadequate design, loss of consortium, punitive damages, and workers compensation based claims.