United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
ERIC KLOPMAN-BAERSELMAN, as Personal Representative for the Estate of RUDIE KLOPMAN-BAERSELMAN, deceased, Plaintiff,
AIR & LIQUID SYSTEMS CORPORATION, et al., Defendants.
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT CROSBY VALVE, LLC'S
MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
J. BRYAN United States District Judge
MATTER comes before the Court on Defendant Crosby Valve,
LLC's (“Crosby Valve”) Motion for Summary
Judgment. Dkt. 449. The Court is familiar with the record
herein and has reviewed the motion and documents filed in
support of and in opposition thereto, and it is fully
advised. Oral argument is unnecessary to decide this motion.
reasons set forth below, Crosby Valve's Motion for
Summary Judgment should be granted.
an asbestos case. Dkt. 168. The above-entitled action was
commenced in Pierce County Superior Court on October 27,
2017. Dkt. 1-1, at 6. Notice of removal from the state court
was filed with this Court on July 3, 2018. Dkt. 1-1.
operative complaint, Plaintiff alleges that Rudie
Klopman-Baerselman (“Decedent”) was exposed to
asbestos-containing products sold or supplied by various
defendants, including Crosby Valve, causing Decedent injuries
for which Crosby Valve is liable. Dkt. 168. Decedent was
diagnosed with mesothelioma on approximately July 11, 2017,
and died on November 25, 2017, before being deposed. Dkts.
168, at 4; and 374, at 7.
complaint provides that “Decedent  was an employee of
Royal Dutch Lloyd, Rotterdam Lloyd and worked as a merchant
mariner assigned to several vessels. While performing his
duties as a boiler oilman/stoker from approximately 1955
through 1959, Decedent  was exposed to asbestos,
asbestos-containing materials and products while aboard the
vessels.” Dkt. 168, at 6.
claims liability based upon the theories of product liability
(RCW 7.72 et seq.); negligence; conspiracy; strict product
liability under Section 402A and 402B of the Restatement of
Torts; premises liability; and any other applicable theory of
liability.” Dkt. 168, at 6.
Valve filed the instant Motion for Summary Judgment, arguing
that there is no evidence that Decedent was exposed to
asbestos from a Crosby valve, and that there is no evidence
that asbestos from a Crosby Valve product was the cause of
Decedent's mesothelioma. Dkt. 449.
responded in opposition. Dkt. 502. Plaintiff offers that
Decedent “worked in the engineering department aboard
ships including the SS Friesland and the SS
Waterman (U.S.-built ships).” Dkt. 502, at 2.
Plaintiff provides expert testimony that these ships would
have contained greater or lesser amounts of amosite asbestos
and that Decedent's work aboard these ships would have
exposed him to asbestos through the removal and replacement
of asbestos-containing thermal insulation. Dkts. 364-2; and
502. Plaintiff further provides evidence that Crosby Valves
sold asbestos-containing valves and products for use by the
United States Navy. Dkts. 502, at 3- 4. Plaintiff offers
expert testimony that Decedent developed mesothelioma
substantially caused by mixed asbestos exposure. Dkt. 502, at
6. Plaintiff contends that Decedent was exposed to Crosby
Valve asbestos-containing products working aboard U.S.-built
ships in the Dutch Merchant Marine, which caused his
mesothelioma. Dkt. 502.
Valve filed a reply in support of its motion for summary
judgment. Dkt. 505.
SUMMARY JUDGMENT STANDARD
judgment is proper only if the pleadings, the discovery and
disclosure materials on file, and any affidavits show that
there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that
the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c). The moving party is entitled to judgment
as a matter of law when the nonmoving party fails to make a
sufficient showing on an essential element of a claim in the
case on which the nonmoving party has the burden of proof.
Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1985).
There is no genuine issue of fact for trial where the record,
taken as a whole, could not lead a rational trier of fact to
find for the nonmoving party. Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co.
v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986)
(nonmoving party must present specific, significant probative
evidence, not simply “some metaphysical doubt.”).
See also Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(d). Conversely, a
genuine dispute over a material fact exists if there is
sufficient evidence supporting the claimed factual dispute,
requiring a judge or jury to resolve the differing versions
of the truth. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477
U.S. 242, 253 (1986); T.W. Elec. Service Inc. v. Pacific
Electrical Contractors Association, 809 F.2d 626, 630
(9th Cir. 1987).
determination of the existence of a material fact is often a
close question. The court must consider the substantive
evidentiary burden that the nonmoving party must meet at
trial - e.g., a preponderance of the evidence in most civil
cases. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 254, T.W. Elect.
Service Inc., 809 F.2d at 630. The court must resolve
any factual issues of controversy in favor of the nonmoving
party only when the facts specifically attested by that party
contradict facts specifically attested by the moving party.
The nonmoving party may not merely state that it will
discredit the moving party's evidence at trial, in the
hopes that evidence can be developed at trial to support the
claim. T.W. Elect. Service Inc., 809 F.2d at 630
(relying on Anderson, supra). ...