Dismissal of Asbestos Claims for Lack of Causation Under Connecticut and Maritime Law

In this case, the plaintiff presented an affidavit of decedent attesting to asbestos exposure, a death certificate confirming the mesothelioma, and co-worker depositions showing that the decedent was generally exposed to asbestos at the Groton Connecticut shipyard while overhauling nuclear submarines. Several defendants moved for summary judgment on the ground that while the plaintiff established the decedent’s exposure to asbestos during his career, there was no evidence that causally connected any of that exposure to any of the particular defendants. The court initially ruled that it need not decide whether Connecticut or Maritime law applied because under either standard the plaintiff did not meet the evidentiary burden of linking a specific manufacturer’s product to decedent’s the exposure. The Court stated: “The plaintiffs have not, however, demonstrated that the defendants manufactured or distributed asbestos-containing products utilized at the Groton shipyard.”

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