United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
Hedrick alleges that he developed lung cancer as a result of
exposure to asbestos while serving in the U.S. Navy from 1953
to 1957. He claims that he was regularly exposed to asbestos
in his work in the boiler rooms and engine rooms of four
different naval vessels. Hedrick sued a number of
manufacturers whose products he claims contained asbestos.
Five of the remaining Defendants (the “Moving
Defendants”) have filed motions for summary judgment.
For the reasons discussed below, the Court grants the motions
of Ingersoll-Rand Co., Superior-Lidgerwood-Mundy Corp., and
Warren Pumps, LLC, and denies the motions of Air & Liquid
Systems Corp. and Crane Co.
Hedrick's Alleged Asbestos Exposure History
enlisted in the Navy in 1953. (Pls.' Resp. to
Ingersoll-Rand Corp.'s Mot. for Summ. J. [Pls.' Resp.
to Ingersoll], ECF No. 207, at 2.) Over the next four years,
he worked on four different naval vessels: the USS Cabot, USS
Roan, USS Boston, and USS New Jersey. (Id.) He began
his service as a seaman apprentice, and then became a fireman
apprentice, a fireman, and finally a machinist's mate.
(Id.) In these capacities, Hedrick did varying
amounts of work in the boiler rooms and engine rooms of the
ships. (Id. at 3-4.)
claims that his work regularly exposed him to asbestos. His
duties at times included removing and replacing insulation on
piping; when he did this, he disturbed asbestos dust in the
insulation and breathed it in. (Id. at 3.) Hedrick
also removed and replaced packing from pumps once or twice a
month. (Id. at 9.) He describes this as a
“two-hour process” that involved several minutes
of cutting asbestos-containing packaging, which was often dry
and would come apart as he removed it. (Id.) In
addition, Hedrick often replaced asbestos-containing gaskets
on valves and pumps. This involved using a scraper to scrape
off the old gaskets, which were dry and came off in pieces;
the scraping process took 20 to 40 minutes. (Pls.' Resp.
in Opp'n to SLM's Mot. for Summ. J. [Pls.' Resp.
to SLM], ECF No. 208, at 7-8.)
claims that his asbestos exposure, both by itself and in
combination with his cigarette smoking, caused him to develop
lung cancer. (See Pls.' Resp. to Ingersoll at
11-12.) Hedrick's medical expert opines that his smoking
was a minor cause, if any, because he quit smoking 47 years
before his cancer was first detected. (Id.)
Hedrick's Alleged Exposure to Defendants'
Products 1.Ingersoll-Rand Hedrick claims
that Ingersoll-Rand supplied pumps incorporating
asbestos-containing parts to each of the ships he worked on.
(Pls.' Resp. to Ingersoll at 6.) For instance, he claims
it supplied fluid circulating pumps to the Boston and main
feed pumps to the New Jersey. (Id.) Hedrick claims
that he worked on both of these pumps. (Id. at 14.)
sued Superior-Lidgerwood-Mundy (“SLM”) as the
successor-in-interest to Davidson Co. Hedrick claims that
Davidson supplied brine pumps and seawater circulating pumps
to the Boston. (Pls.' Resp. to SLM at 9.) He claims that
he worked on both of these pumps. (Id.)
alleges little in the way of specific exposure to materials
supplied by Warren Pumps. He claims that Warren Pumps
supplied a variety of pumps to the Boston, as well as pumps
to the Cabot and Roan. (Pls.' Resp. in Opp'n to
Warren Pumps, LLC's Mot. for Summ. J., ECF No. 209, at
8.) Hedrick claims that he worked in the engine rooms of each
of these ships. (Id. at 16.)
Air & Liquid Systems
sued Air & Liquid as the successor-in-interest to Buffalo
Pumps, Inc. Hedrick testified in a previous lawsuit that he
thought he remembered seeing Buffalo pumps on the Roan.
(Pls.' Resp. in Opp'n to Air & Liquid Sys.
Corp.'s Mot. for Summ. J. [Pls.' Resp. to ALSC], ECF
No. 205, Ex. F.) He also claims that Buffalo Pumps supplied
circulating pumps to the Roan and the Boston, and both main
feed booster pumps and condensate pumps to the Boston ...