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In re Asbestos Litigation

Superior Court of Rhode Island

January 22, 2016

In Re: Asbestos Litigation
v.
AMERICAN STANDARD, INC., et al., Defendants. DENNIS R. BAUMGARTNER and GAIL L. BAUMGARTNER, Plaintiffs,

PROVIDENCE, SC. SUPERIOR COURT

For Plaintiff: Robert J. Sweeney, Esq.; Jeffrey S. Kanca, Esq.

For Defendant: Thomas W. Lyons, III, Esq.; Bruce W. Gladstone, Esq.;Mark O. Denehy, Esq.; Victoria M. Almeida, Esq.; Stephen T. Armato, Esq.; Lawrence G. Cetrulo, Esq.; David A. Goldman, Esq.; Christopher R. van Tienhoven, Esq.; Philip T. Newbury, Jr., Esq.; R. Bart Totten, Esq.; Crystal L. Fraser, Esq.; Peter F. Mathieu, Esq.; Jeffrey M. Thomen, Esq.; James A. Ruggieri, Esq.; Christopher R. Howe, Esq.; Kevin C. McCaffrey, Esq.; Todd S. Holbrook, Esq.; Zachary Weisberg, Esq.; Timothy M. Zabbo, Esq.; Kathryn T. Rogers, Esq.; Mary C. Dunn, Esq.; Danielle J. Mahoney, Esq.; Mark Nugent, Esq.; John B. Manning, Esq.

DECISION

GIBNEY, P.J.

Before this Court is Plaintiffs Dennis R. and Gail L. Baumgartner's (Plaintiffs) Motion to Reconsider and/or Re-Argue the Court's Decision Dated July 22, 2015 (Plaintiffs' Motion). The Court's Decision on July 22, 2015 (Decision) granted, inter alia, summary judgment for Defendants General Electric Co. (GE), CBS Corp./Westinghouse Electric Corp. (CBS), and Foster Wheeler, LLC (Foster Wheeler) (collectively, Defendants).[1], [2] Plaintiffs request that this Court revisit the Decision and vacate its judgment in whole or in part. The Court exercises jurisdiction pursuant to G.L. 1956 § 8-2-14. After carefully considering the parties' arguments, the Court declines to reconsider or vacate the Decision, and therefore, Plaintiffs' Motion is denied.

I

Facts

A brief recitation of the underlying facts of this case was previously rendered by the Court in its July 22, 2015 Decision regarding Defendants' motion for summary judgment.[3] The Court will augment the facts herein as necessary.

CBS filed a motion for summary judgment on May 22, 2014. Plaintiffs filed an objection to CBS' motion on July 21, 2014 and a sur-reply on February 10, 2015. GE filed a motion for summary judgment on September 8, 2014.

On March 13, 2015, a number of Defendants filed a Motion for Judicial Notice of Ohio Law. Plaintiffs replied to this Motion on March 24, 2015. Foster Wheeler filed its motion for summary judgment on March 27, 2015.

The Court held a hearing on March 31, 2015 (March Hearing). Defendant CBS argued the Motion for Judicial Notice of Ohio Law on behalf of all Defendants and additionally argued its motion for summary judgment. Plaintiffs argued in opposition to both motions.

On April 9, 2015, Plaintiffs filed their objection to Foster Wheeler's motion for summary judgment. This objection included an argument on the Ohio statute of repose, an issue discussed and argued during the March Hearing.

The Court issued its Decision on July 22, 2015. In a comprehensive seventy-page ruling, this Court granted Defendants' motions for summary judgment. The Court held that Ohio's ten-year statute of repose applied to Plaintiffs' claims against Defendants. See Baumgartner, No. PC-13-4151, 2015 WL 4523476 at *17. Specifically, this Court held that GE and CBS' turbines, as well as Foster Wheeler's boilers, were improvements to real property, and thereby, Plaintiffs' claims against Defendants were barred by Ohio's statute of repose. See id., at *30–34.

Less than a week later, on July 27, 2015, Plaintiffs filed a Motion to Reconsider and/or Re-Argue the Court's Decision Dated July 22, 2015. This Motion stated that the Court had applied the wrong Ohio statute of repose and that doing so was in error. On September 18, 2015, Plaintiffs filed their motion which requested that the Court reconsider and/or vacate the summary judgment granted ...


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