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Valve Manufacturer Denied Summary Judgment in NYCAL

Court: Supreme Court of New York, New York County

In this asbestos action, defendant Crosby moved for summary judgment on duty to warn and causation grounds. Plaintiff Joseph Deroy opposed the motion.

Ultimately, the court denied the motion. The court first noted that “summary judgment is a drastic remedy and should only be granted if the moving party has sufficiently established that it is warranted as a matter of law.” In addition, “summary judgment is rarely granted in negligence actions unless there is no conflict at all in the evidence.” Further, the court cites the Appellate Division’s decision in Dollas v. W.R. Grace, finding that “[t]he deposition testimony of a litigant is sufficient to raise an issue of fact so as to preclude the grant of summary judgment dismissing the complaint. The assessment of the value of a witnesses’ testimony constitutes an issue for resolution by the trier of fact, and any apparent discrepancy between the testimony and the evidence of record goes only to the weight and not the admissibility of the testimony.”

The court set forth that plaintiff “provided unequivocal testimony identifying defendant Crosby products as a source of his asbestos exposure and that defendant Crosby’s corporate representative and historical Crosby catalogue confirmed the presence and circulation of Crosby’s asbestos-containing products.” The court also found that a reasonable juror could determine that plaintiff was exposed to asbestos from the defendant’s products. In addition, the court set forth that “Crosby was aware of and recommended the use of asbestos-containing insulation with its valves.”

Thus, the court denied the motion. 

Read the full decision here.