Expert Report Summarizing Exposure to General Products Insufficient to Defeat Pump Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment

WASHINGTON – , A federal court in Washington granted a summary judgment motion brought by pump defendant Air & Liquid Systems Corporation (Buffalo Pump) in a case extensively covered by the Asbestos Case Tracker dealing with Merchant Mariner Rudie Klopman-Baerselman, the decedent  who died of mesothelioma. As proof of exposure, the plaintiff had produced an inspection report for the HMS Ranee from 1943 referencing Buffalo Pump.  The plaintiff also produced an expert report by James Delaney, a navel expert, opining that asbestos-containing thermal insulation would have been used on water systems on the ship, and that the decedent would have been exposed to large quantities of that insulation through his duties. The decedent worked as a boiler oilman/stoker aboard the Ranee for a portion of time between 1955 and 1959.

The court applied Washington law and assessed the Lockwood factors favorably for Buffalo Pumps. The court determined that the evidence did not show that the decedent was proximate to any asbestos-containing product for which Buffalo Pump was responsible, nor to what extent of time the decedent may have been exposed to asbestos from a Buffalo Pump. The court found that Delaney’s report only generally discussed asbestos exposure factors of directness, quantity, proximity, and frequency, and did not do so specifically for any Buffalo Pump products.

Read the case decision here.