Philadelphia Court Grants Forklift Manufacturer’s Motion for Summary Judgment

GMR’s asbestos team was successful in obtaining summary judgment for a forklift manufacturer in a wrongful death claim filed in Philadelphia County. Plaintiff’s Estate alleged that his lung cancer was caused by asbestos exposures sustained at Owens-Corning Fiberglas where plaintiff-decedent worked as a forklift operator from 1965 to 1979. In opposition to the motion for summary judgment, plaintiff presented testimony from witnesses who identified forklifts made by the forklift defendant at the decedent’s job site, along with testimony that suggested asbestos-containing forklift parts (including asbestos-lined brakes and clutches) were “blown out” and replaced on a daily basis in areas where the decedent worked. GMR argued plaintiff failed to establish the decedent was ever present when original parts were replaced on any forklifts made by the forklift manufacturer based on a lack of evidence to suggest original-equipment parts were used at Owens-Corning along with affirmative evidence establishing replacement brakes and clutches were made by co-defendants instead of the forklift manufacturer. Judge New entered an Order granting summary judgment in favor of the forklift manufacturer.