Summary Judgment Affirmed in Delaware Maritime Action Based Upon Lack of Product Identification Superior Court of Delaware, November 29, 2017

DELAWARE — In an unreported opinion issued on November 29, 2017, the Superior Court of Delaware affirmed the entry of summary judgment on behalf of Warren Pumps. The plaintiff, Phillip Walsh, served aboard the USS Halsey and USS Bigelow from 1975 to 1977 as a machinist in the U.S. Navy. He was the only product identification witness offered. He testified that he removed insulation from pumps, and also removed and installed packing and gaskets on the pumps. With regard to the manufacturer of those replacement products, he stated that “depending on the pump, if it was Gould or, you know, Warren or some of the names that I mentioned before, it would have been those.”

The court found the plaintiff’s general testimony about replacement parts insufficient to withstand summary judgment under maritime law. Specifically, the court stated that the plaintiff could not identify a specific pump manufactured by Warren, how often he worked with Warren pumps, or the maintenance history of the Warren pumps on board the ships. Given that lack of proof, summary judgment was affirmed.

Read the full decision here.

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