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October 2013

Gordon & Rees Miami and Philadelphia Team Wins Summary Judgment in Asbestos Case

On Sept. 24, Gordon & Rees partner Ari Shapiro and associate Michelle Levy of Miami, with the assistance of Philadelphia partners William Shelley and Joseph Arnold, won summary judgment in favor of their client, a manufacturer of compressors.

In Ronnie G. Hasty, et al. v. Amtico Division of American Biltrite, et al., a negligence and strict liability action, the plaintiff claimed that he contracted laryngeal cancer as a result of exposure to asbestos-containing products.  At deposition, the plaintiff testified that he worked with “thousands” of compressors manufactured by the client. However, the compressors were hermetically sealed and, therefore, designed to be replaced, not repaired.

Shapiro and Levy successfully argued that the compressors were not only designed to be replaced, but they were impossible to repair because they could not be reassembled after the hermetic seal was broken.  Therefore, the plaintiff could not have performed any repair work on the compressors, and could not have been exposed to asbestos from any work replacing the compressors.

The Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County agreed with Gordon & Rees and granted summary judgment in favor of the manufacturer-client.

 

Ari C. Shapiro
William P. Shelley



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