Lack of Admissible Evidence Against General Electric Leads to Grant of Summary Judgment in Maritime Meso Case

CONNECTICUT – The Carlson’s brought suit against several defendants including General Electric (GE) alleging that Kurt Carlson developed mesothelioma as a result of exposure to the defendants’ asbestos-containing products while working as a radiological control technician for General Dynamics/Electric Boat Corp. from 1973-1974. The plaintiffs provided answers to interrogatories to GE. The answers did not list GE as the plaintiff’s employer or as a product to which he was exposed. The plaintiff was also deposed and did not name GE as a product to which he was exposed. GE moved for summary judgment. Plaintiff filed no response.

The court reminded the standard for summary judgement and stated that summary judgment is appropriate when admissible evidence creates a genuine issue of material fact. GE took the position that maritime law controlled. Therefore, a “plaintiff must show, for each defendant, that (1) he was exposed to defendant’s product, and (2) the product was a substantial contributing factor in causing the injury he suffered, and (3) that the defendant manufactured or distributed the injurious product.”

Here, the plaintiff offered nothing illustrating his exposure to a GE product in the context of the requirement under maritime law. Summary judgment as to the plaintiffs’ claims was granted. The court also granted summary judgment in favor of GE as to cross claims filed by various co-defendants.

Read the case decision here.