Court Grants Summary Judgment for Valve Manufacturer due to Plaintiff’s Failure to Establish Causation

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WASHINGTON – In a case extensively covered by the Asbestos Case Tracker, the court granted the summary judgment motion of defendant, Crosby Valve LLC. The decedent, Rudie Klopman- Baerselman, alleged that he developed mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos through his work as a merchant mariner aboard several vessels. The defendant argued that there was no evidence that the decedent was exposed to asbestos from a Crosby valve and that there is no evidence that asbestos from a Crosby Valve product was the cause of the decedent’s mesothelioma.

The court applied Washington law and favorably assessed the Lockwood v. AC & S, Inc. factors for Crosby Valve. First, the court found that the evidence did not show that the decedent was proximate to any asbestos-containing product for which Crosby Valve was responsible. Second, the plaintiff failed to describe any worksite where asbestos fibers were released from a Crosby Valve or the extent of time the decedent may have been exposed to asbestos from a Crosby Valve.  Furthermore, the plaintiff offered no evidence regarding the types of asbestos-containing products produced by Crosby Valve. Lastly, while the plaintiff offered evidence concerning the release of asbestos fibers from gaskets generally, the plaintiff failed to show the tendency of a Crosby Valve product used by the decedent, if any, to release asbestos fibers into the air depending on its form and the methods in which it was handled. The plaintiff failed to offer any evidence regarding asbestos exposure proximity, regularity, or duration with respect to any Crosby Valve product used by the decedent.

Therefore, the motion for summary judgment was granted.

Read the case decision here.