Plaintiff v. Energy Generator Manufacturer
Sedgwick obtained summary judgment for our client, an energy generator manufacturer in federal court in Pennsylvania. The plaintiff alleged that he developed asbestos-related cancer from his exposure to our client’s products. Although the plaintiff could not identify our client’s products during his deposition, his attorneys sought to establish exposure through historical documents that showed that the plaintiff worked aboard various Navy ships under construction during World War II at two shipyards near Portland, Ore. The plaintiff also submitted evidence showing that our client’s products were on board these ships at or around the time of the plaintiff's work at the shipyards. Further, the plaintiff submitted documentation suggesting that our client’s may have been responsible for installing insulation on its products on these Navy ships. However, the court granted our client’s motion for summary judgment, finding that the plaintiff's documents failed to establish that the plaintiff worked on any ship at any time where our client’s products were present, and that the plaintiff had failed to establish that any of our client’s products contained asbestos at the time of the plaintiff's work. The court further found there was no evidence that any insulation that our client could have been responsible for contained asbestos, or was installed during the plaintiff's employment. The court’s order is significant in that the plaintiff offered evidence to suggest the presence of our client’s products at the shipyard at the same time as the plaintiff. However, the judge held that this was insufficient to establish exposure because there was no evidence that our client’s products contained asbestos, or that they were installed or otherwise manipulated during his employment in order to generate dust that could lead to an exposure.