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Automotive Parts Supplier’s Motion for Summary Judgment Denied

Court: Supreme Court of New York, New York County

In this asbestos action, plaintiff Joseph Munna alleged asbestos exposure from his work as an automobile mechanic from the 1970s until the 1990s. During this time, he alleged that he obtained asbestos-containing parts from Advance Auto.

Advance moved for summary judgment, contending that Munna was not present or involved in the ordering of any products from Advance. Advance also contended that they did not operate in two areas during the time where Munna claimed to have worked and used asbestos-containing parts supplied from Advance. Plaintiff opposed the motion on both grounds.

Ultimately, the trial court denied the motion. First, the court set forth that Advance “failed to meet its initial burden in establishing that its products did not contain asbestos and could not have contributed to plaintiff’s asbestos exposure.”  Instead, Advance’s reading of Munna’s testimony “relie[d] solely upon a mischaracterization of plaintiff’s consistent and unequivocal testimony regarding their products.”

The trial court also found Advance’s argument that Munna was not personally involved with the ordering of parts from Advance unavailing as Munna did not need to be personally involved with the purchase of these products to have worked with them. Further, the trial court noted that Munna did not limit his work with products supplied by Advance to the two areas stated by Advance. As such, issues of fact exist to preclude summary judgment.

Thus, the court denied Advance’s summary judgment motion.

Read the full decision here.