Failure to Provide Expert Evidence in Conjunction with Exposure Testimony Leads to Grant of Summary Judgment

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CONNECTICUT – The plaintiff alleged that the decedent, James Schmidt, was exposed to asbestos during the course of his various careers. The defendant CNH Industrial America (CNH) moved for summary judgement, which was denied on the basis of decedent’s deposition testimony that he worked on asbestos-containing bulldozers and excavators CNH moved for reconsideration, and summary judgement was granted.

CNH argued that the deposition testimony was inadmissible and the plaintiff lacked the expert evidence required to carry her burden of proof under the Connecticut Product Liability Act The plaintiff declined to respond to the motion for reconsideration. CNH argued that the Act required expert testimony to prove exposure at levels sufficient to cause asbestos-related disease. Here, the only evidence of exposure was the decedent’s testimony. The Supreme Court of Connecticut previously analyzed similar cases in which exposure evidence was insufficient without expert testimony. Without competent expert testimony, the plaintiff was unable to demonstrate that decedent’s work with CNH equipment exposed him to harmful levels of asbestos.

Read the case decision here.