Louisiana Federal Court Grants Three Defendants’ Summary Judgment Motions Due to Lack of Exposure

The plaintiff commenced this wrongful death mesothelioma case, alleging in part that his father was exposed to asbestos-containing products while in the U.S. Naval Reserve in the 1950s and 1960s. The defendants, GE, CBS, and Foster Wheeler, moved for summary judgment, arguing that the plaintiff’s evidence was insufficient to establish the decedent’s exposure to their products.

The plaintiff opposed the motion with an expert affidavit, described by the court as follows: “Plaintiff relies on the expert report of Laurence Durio, who opined that Mr. Laurent was likely exposed to asbestos while working on Navy ships and possibly in Navy schools. (Rec. Doc. 99, Ex. 4.) As a fireman apprentice, fireman, and machinery repairman, Mr. Laurent worked in the ship’s ‘mechanical spaces’ and was responsible for repairing and operating boilers, turbines, and related equipment. Id. The expert report states that the Navy ‘had a strong preference’ for amosite asbestos, and it suggests that Mr. Laurent was exposed to this potent form of asbestos while working on boilers, turbines, and the like.”

The court rejected this proof as insufficient to establish exposure to these defendants’ products: “Plaintiff has not produced evidence showing that Mr. Laurent inhaled asbestos fibers from Defendants’ products into his lungs. . . . Plaintiff is unable to establish Mr. Laurent’s exposure to asbestos or asbestos-containing products, so it is unnecessary to consider whether such exposure constituted a substantial factor in his injury.”

Read the full decision here.