In three identical decisions, the District Court of New Jersey granted summary judgment to General Electric, Westinghouse, and Foster Wheeler under maritime law based on the bare metal defense. In this case, the plaintiff alleged that the decedent was exposed to asbestos in the Navy aboard the USS Roan. These defendants moved to dismiss the complaint based on the bare metal defense.
The court ruled that maritime law applied and that there was no evidence to support the plaintiff’s claim: “The Court finds that Defendant has established a complete bare metal defense and is therefore entitled to summary judgment in its favor on this issue. Based upon the uncontested evidence here, the Court finds that there is no issue of fact regarding whether Defendant manufactured any alleged asbestos-containing products aboard the Roan at the time of Hammell’s alleged exposure. Nor does the Court find evidence that Defendant placed any injury-inducing products that caused Hammell’s alleged injuries into the stream of commerce during the relevant time period. Accordingly, the Court finds that Defendant cannot be responsible for any injury-inducing product that it did not manufacture or distribute.”
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