United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
MARIETTA DIANNE YAW, Individually and as Executor of the Estate of DONALD ARTHUR YAW, Plaintiff,
AIR & LIQUID SYSTEMS CORPORATION, et al., Defendants.
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTIONS FOR SUMMARY
JUDGMENT, DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTIONS FOR PARTIAL SUMMARY
JUDGMENT, RESERVING RULINGS ON PLAINTIFF'S AND
DEFENDANT'S MOTIONS, AND REQUESTING STATUS
BENJAMIN H. SETTLE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter comes before the Court on Warren Pumps, LLC's
(“Warren Pumps”) motion for summary judgment,
Dkt. 113; Defendant Air & Liquid Systems
Corporation's (“ALS”) motion for summary
judgment, Dkt. 205; Defendant Armstrong International,
Inc.'s (“Armstrong”) motion for summary
judgment, Dkt. 210; Defendant Ingersoll-Rand Company's
(“Ingersol-Rand”) motion for summary judgment;
Dkt. 211; and Plaintiff Marietta Yaw's
(“Yaw”) motions for partial summary judgment on
Warren Pumps, ALS, Armstrong, Ingersol-Rand, and Defendant
Crane Co's (“Crane”) affirmative defenses,
Dkts. 192, 194, 198, 204, 208. The Court has considered the
pleadings filed in support of and in opposition to the
motions and the remainder of the file and hereby rules as
21, 2018, Plaintiffs Donald and Marietta Yaw (“the
Yaws”) filed a complaint against numerous defendants
alleging injuries to Mr. Yaw resulting from exposure to
asbestos. Dkt. 1.
February 25, 2019, Warren Pumps filed a motion for summary
judgment arguing that maritime law applies and that the Yaws
had no evidence to support their claims. Dkt. 113. On March
18, 2019, the Yaws responded. Dkt. 134. On March 22, 2019,
Warren Pumps replied. Dkt. 142.
March 21, 2019, the Yaws filed a motion to amend their
complaint informing the Court that Mr. Yaw passed away. Dkt.
140. On April 18, 2019, the Court granted the Yaws'
motion. Dkt. 154.
30, 2019, the Court renoted Warren Pumps' motion for
consideration on the Court's June 21, 2019 calendar. Dkt.
12, 2019, Yaw filed her motions for partial summary judgment
on the five remaining defendants' affirmative defenses,
Dkts. 192, 194, 198, 204, 208, and numerous defendants filed
motions for summary judgment on Yaw's claims, Dkts. 205,
210, 211. On July 1, 2019, some parties responded. Dkts. 218,
220, 222, 224, 226, 229, 231, 234. On July 5, 2019, some
parties replied. Dkts. 235, 237, 239.
majority of the relevant facts in this matter are undisputed.
Mr. Yaw worked at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard
(“PSNSY”) from 1964 through 2001. During the
first part of his career, Mr. Yaw was a shipfitter, which Mr.
Yaw describes as a steelworker who actually builds the ships.
Mr. Yaw recalled working on numerous ships including the USS
Simon Lake, USS Kitty Hawk, USS Cusk, USS Seattle, USS
Ranger, USS Sacramento, USS John Adams, USS Constellation,
USS Enterprise, USS Truxton, USS Bainbridge, and USS Ulysses
S. Grant. It is undisputed that, at some point, some of these
ships were equipped with products that either included parts
with asbestos such as gaskets and seals or required
additional parts with asbestos such as insulation. The
problem, however, is that Mr. Yaw failed to remember working
on any particular product on any particular ship.
See Dkt. 113 at 2-3 (summarizing Yaw deposition).
attempts to overcome this failure by selectively citing
portions of Mr. Yaw's deposition and relying on the
declaration of his expert, Captain Arnold Moore
(“Moore”). Mr. Yaw stated in his deposition that
he was in engine rooms and boiler rooms that were dusty. Dkt.
134 at 3-4. Moore then opines that “Mr. Yaw worked in
spaces where other workers were removing asbestos insulation
from 1964 until 1978. He likely worked in spaces where other
workers were removing and replacing asbestos packing and
gaskets for the entire time he worked as a shipfitter from
1964 through 1980.” Dkt. 135-1 at 65.
Pumps argues that maritime law applies because “at
least some portion of [Mr. Yaw's] alleged exposures took
place aboard Naval vessels on navigable waters or in drydock
. . . .” Dkt. 113 at 4. The party seeking to invoke
such jurisdiction bears the burden to establish that it
applies. Jerome B. Grubart, Inc. v. Great Lakes Dredge
& Dock Co., 513 U.S. 527, 534 (1995). To satisfy
this burden, the moving party must ...