Summary Judgment Denied With Respect to Valve and Pump Exposure

NORTH CAROLINA — The plaintiff, Wade Gore, was diagnosed with mesothelioma in May 2015 and filed suit a month later. He alleged asbestos exposure while working at a DuPont plant in Leland, North Carolina. Gore worked as an insulator, with pipes, pumps and valves from approximately 1975 to the 1980s. He was allegedly exposed to asbestos from gaskets, pumps, valves and packing. Numerous defendants filed motions for summary judgment based upon a purported lack of evidence of exposure.

With respect to defendant Powell, the court denied the summary judgment motion, finding there was evidence that the plaintiff personally worked on Powell valves in 1975 and 1976. For Flowserve, the court denied the motion for summary judgment with respect to Flowserve’s Durco products. However, the court found there was no evidence that the plaintiff ever worked with Flowserve’s Valtek products, and granted the motion for summary judgment with respect to those products. John Crane’s motion for summary judgment was denied based upon evidence showing the plaintiff worked with two types of John Crane gaskets. Both Flowserve and John Crane also moved to dismiss the plaintiff’s claim for punitive damages at the summary judgment stage. The court granted the motion with respect to Flowserve, but denied it as to John Crane, finding a genuine issue of material fact with regard to that company’s knowledge of the hazards of asbestos.

Finally, the court denied four motions in limine regarding expert testimony, two of which were filed by plaintiff and two of which were filed by the defense.

Read the full case decision here.