A 14 page decision handed down on October 27, 2020 by Justice Alice B. Gibney, Presiding Justice of the Rhode Island Superior Court, granted a summary judgment motion briefed and argued by CMBG3 attorneys David Goldman and Eric Robbie on behalf of an equipment manufacturer asbestos client. A copy of the decision is available here (Wallace v. Trane Co. PC16-5339). Recognizing from the outset of the case that the plaintiff had no connection to Rhode Island and that the applicable law should be that of the state of Maine, Mr. Goldman and Mr. Robbie worked to develop the evidentiary record such that the so-called “component parts” defense could be successfully cited by its client. Subsequently, they moved to apply Maine law given that Maine is quite favorable for asbestos defendants with respect to component parts defense.
Ultimately, the plaintiff did not contest the application of Maine law. Once it was established that Maine law would apply, Mr. Goldman and Mr. Robbie drafted a summary judgment motion arguing that under Maine law CMBG3’s client had no legal responsibility for any alleged injuries arising out of the plaintiff’s use of any asbestos-containing components used in connection with their client’s equipment given that there was no evidence that the equipment contained any asbestos-containing components manufactured or distributed by its client.
This decision highlights the thorough analysis that CMBG3 attorneys put into every case. Rather than accepting that Rhode Island law necessarily applied just because the case was filed in Rhode Island, Mr. Goldman and Mr. Robbie aggressively moved to have Maine law apply after carefully analyzing Maine law concerning component parts with respect to asbestos litigation. Determining that Maine law was favorable with respect to the component parts defense in the asbestos litigation realm, Mr. Goldman and Mr. Robbie used the plaintiff’s own deposition testimony to support their summary judgment motion. At oral argument, Mr. Robbie very clearly articulated Maine law concerning component parts and cited to the record to support that the facts of the case established that the defense was applicable and that summary judgment should be granted. Ultimately, the court agreed.
CMBG3 Law LLC has represented clients in toxic torts matters, especially with respect to asbestos, for many years. We provide the most current legal advice to our clients by staying on top of developments in science, medicine, and regulations regarding a wide variety of substances and products used by consumers every day. If you have any questions or would like more information about the decision out of Rhode Island, please contact David Goldman and Eric Robbie.