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February 2015

New Hartford Partners Secure Summary Judgment in Wrongful Death Asbestos Case

Recent arrival Gordon & Rees Hartford partners John J. Robinson and Cullen W. Guilmartin secured summary judgment on behalf of Aurora Pump Company in Debra Bray, et al. v. Ingersoll Rand Co., et al., No. 3:13-cv-1561 (SRU) (D.Conn.).

In this wrongful death asbestos case, the plaintiffs alleged that the decedent contracted mesothelioma as a result of his exposure to asbestos and asbestos-containing products while employed at Electric Boat, a division of General Dynamics Corporation located in Groton, Connecticut. The plaintiffs’ claims were supported by a prior affidavit of the decedent, the deposition testimony of three co-workers, and the report of plaintiffs’ proffered expert witness Capt. Bruce Woodruff.

Attorneys Robinson and Guilmartin sought the application of Maritime law based on the facts of the case, and argued that plaintiffs’ evidence regarding exposure to Aurora Pump Company’s products amounted to nothing more than mere speculation and conjecture and thus failed to create any issue of fact as to proximate cause.

The court agreed with Aurora Pump Company, holding that the “plaintiffs have attempted to bolster the lack of identifying information with materials that are either inadmissible or invite speculation” and further held that “the plaintiffs have failed to meet their evidentiary burden on the issue of causation, and they have not offered evidence from which a reasonable jury could find a causal link between the defendants’ products and [the decedent’s] exposure to asbestos.”

The decision can found on PACER at 3:13-cv-01561-SRU, Docket No. 187.

Cullen W. Guilmartin
John J. Robinson