Law School Case Brief
Wannall v. Honeywell Int'l, Inc. - 292 F.R.D. 26 (D.D.C. 2013)
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56 provides that summary judgment shall be granted if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
Plaintiff, as a representative of the Estate of John M. Tyler, filed an action for damages against defendant corporation. Decedent died from malignant pleural mesothelioma—a form of lung cancer. The plaintiff claimed that the decedent's lung cancer was caused by exposure to chrysotile asbestos fibers contained in automobile brakes manufactured by defendant. Defendant’s motion for summary judgment was denied by the trial court. Defendant filed a motion to reconsider the denial of its motion for summary judgment.
Can the defendant move for a summary judgment when the plaintiff fails to provide a specific evidence that the decedent actually died of exposure to its products?
Summary judgment is properly granted against a party who, "after adequate time for discovery and upon motion, fails to make a showing sufficient to establish the existence of an element essential to that party's case, and on which that party will bear the burden of proof at trial." Here, plaintiff cannot create a genuine issue of material fact on the question of factual causation, and therefore, defendant's motion for reconsideration was granted, and the district court entered judgment in favor of defendant.
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