U.S. District Court for the District of Washington, May 6, 2019

WASHINGTON — The plaintiff Donald Varney, filed suit against numerous defendants alleging that asbestos exposure while working as a marine machinist at shipyards in Washington caused his mesothelioma. The complaint was removed to federal court. One day before he passed, the plaintiff signed an affidavit stating that he worked with various defendants’ products, including valves made by Crosby. The plaintiff was not deposed before he passed. The plaintiff’s expert, Dr. John Maddox, relied on the affidavit in opining that the plaintiff’s mesothelioma was caused by his asbestos exposure.

Following summary judgment motions filed by numerous defendants, the court held a two day mini-trial to determine the admissibility of the affidavit and Dr. Maddox’s opinion. The court held that the affidavit and therefore the opinion were inadmissible. Accordingly, Crosby argued that the plaintiff had no evidence of exposure to asbestos from a Crosby valve. The court applied the Lockwood standard and agreed with Crosby’s position, ruling that there was insufficient evidence for a jury to find that causation has been established. Summary judgment was therefore entered in favor of Crosby.

The case summary is provided with permission of Westlaw here.