Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment Granted Due to Lack of Causation

In a case extensively covered by Asbestos Case Tracker, the Western District of Washington considered another defendant, Henry Company LLC’s, motion for summary judgment.

The seminal products liability case in Washington, Lockwood v. AC & S, Inc., enumerates seven factors to consider when “determining if there is sufficient evidence for a jury to find that causation has been established:”

  1. The plaintiff’s proximity to an asbestos product when the exposure occurred;
  2. The expanse of the work site where asbestos fibers were released;
  3. The extent of time the plaintiff was exposed to the product;
  4. The types of asbestos products to which plaintiff was exposed;
  5. The ways in which such products were handled and used;
  6. The tendency of such products to release asbestos fibers into the air depending on their form and the methods in which they were handled; and
  7. Other potential sources of the plaintiff’s injury; courts must consider evidenced presented as to medical causation.

The court held the plaintiff “has offered no evidence establishing a reasonable connection between Decedent’s injury and death; products manufactured, sold, or supplied by Henry; Plaintiff has not offered evidence, even viewed in a light most favorable to Plaintiff, that Henry or products that it manufactured or produced caused Decedent’s injuries and death.” Therefore, the court cannot determine that there is sufficient evidence for a jury to find that causation—a necessary element of the plaintiff’s claim—has been asserted.

The court granted Henry’s motion.

Read the full decision here.