Valve Manufacturer Denied Summary Judgment on Bare Metal Defense

In this NYCAL case, it was alleged that the plaintiff, Mark Ricci, was exposed secondhand to asbestos from his father’s air conditioning and ventilation work. Aldo Ricci (Aldo), Mark Ricci’s father, testified that he was exposed to asbestos from working near others working on Crane Co. valves. Crane moved for summary judgment, arguing that the plaintiff failed to prove he was exposed to asbestos from any asbestos-containing product manufactured or supplied by Crane. It was Crane’s position that it should be entitled to summary judgment since Aldo did not identify any Crane product as a source of his exposure during lead examination at his deposition and that there was nothing unsafe about their “bare metal” product. The plaintiff opposed, arguing that reasonable jurors could find that Crane made asbestos-containing valves, and Crane manuals, catalogs, and specifications called for insulation on its valves.

The court denied Crane’s motion and held: “Crane cannot categorically refute either Aldo Ricci’s testimony or plaintiff’s annexed catalogs with respect to the allegation that Crane valves may have been manufactured containing asbestos. In fact, Crane concedes in its interrogatory responses that its valves contained asbestos parts. As such, under the facts presented in this case, Crane has failed to meet its initial burden.”

Read the full decision here.