United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
MARIA VARNEY, Individually and as Personal Representative for the Estate of DONALD VARNEY, Plaintiff,
AIR & LIQUID SYSTEMS CORPORATION; et al., Defendants.
ORDER ON DEFENDANT ARMSTRONG INTERNATIONAL,
INC.'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND MOTION TO EXCLUDE
J. BRYAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter comes before the Court on Defendant Armstrong
International, Inc.'s (“Armstrong”) Motion
for Summary Judgment (Dkt. 398) and Armstrong's Motion to
Exclude Inadmissible Evidence (Dkt. 426). The Court is
familiar with the records and files herein and all documents
filed in support of and in opposition to the motions. Oral
argument is unnecessary.
reasons stated below, Armstrong's Motion for Summary
Judgment (Dkt. 398) should be denied. Armstrong's Motion
to Exclude Inadmissible Evidence (Dkt. 426) should be denied
as to Exhibit 10, and denied as moot as to Exhibits 9 and 30.
above-entitled action was commenced in Pierce County Superior
Court on February 2, 2018. Dkt. 1, at 2. Notice of removal
from the state court was filed with this Court on February
12, 2018. Dkt. 1.
operative complaint, Plaintiff alleges that Donald Varney
(“Mr. Varney”), now deceased, was exposed to
asbestos while working as a marine machinist at the Puget
Sound Naval Shipyard and Hunter's Point Naval Shipyard,
and through personal automotive exposure and from his
father's automotive exposure. Dkt. 342, at 5.
“Plaintiffs claim liability based upon the theories of
product liability, including but not limited to negligence,
strict product liability …, conspiracy, premises
liability, the former RCW 49.16.030, and any other applicable
theory of liability, including, if applicable, RCW 7.72 et
seq.” Dkt. 342, at 5; see generally §
interrogatory responses include the following:
Identify each job site or ship (referencing
its specific location and the dates of your employment) at
which you claim exposure to asbestos-containing products and
your occupation or trade at each job site.
I believe my attorneys have information suggesting that I was
exposed to the defendants' asbestos products during my
time working as a marine machinist at Puget Sound Naval
Shipyard from 1957 to 1962 and from 1968 to 1972, as well as
during my time as a marine machinist at Hunter's Point
Naval Shipyard from approximately 1965 to 1968. The ships I
recall performing work on are below, although I know there
were many more:
USS Bon Homme Richard (CV-31);
USS Coontz (DLG-9); USS Coral Sea (CV-43);
USS Iwo Jima (LPH-2); USS King (DLG-10);
USS Mansfield (DD-728);
USS Menhaden (SS-377);
USS Midway (CV-41);
USS Pomfret (SS-391);
USS Ranger (CVA-61);
USS Roosevelt (CV/CVA/CVB-42);
USS Shangri-La (CV-38).
Dkt. 398, at 3.
interrogatory responses continue (switching to a third-person
narrative), “[Mr. Varney] was exposed to
asbestos-containing materials associated with … steam
traps manufactured by Armstrong.” Dkt. 398, at 4.
Varney passed away from mesothelioma on February 8, 2018
(Dkt. 220-1), before being deposed. Dkt. 245-2. On February
7, 2018, one day before his passing, Mr. Varney apparently
signed an affidavit purportedly identifying several
asbestos-containing materials that he worked with and that
were manufactured by various defendants, including
“[s]team traps manufactured by Armstrong”. Dkts.
278-1, at 3; and 342.
John Maddox, Plaintiff's causation expert in this matter,
reviewed Mr. Varney's medical records and his
aforementioned affidavit. Dkt. 309, at 4. Dr. Maddox,
relying, in part, on Mr. Varney's affidavit, opined that
Mr. Varney's “lethal malignant pleural mesothelioma
was caused by his ...