United States District Court, D. Rhode Island
SUZANN STEVENS, Personally and as Representative and Trustee of the Estate of JAMES STEVENS, Plaintiffs,
AIR & LIQUID SYSTEMS CORPORATION, AS SUCCESSOR BY MERGER TO BUFFALO PUMPS, INC. et al., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
WILLIAM E. SMITH, Chief Judge.
the Court is Defendant Foster Wheeler's Motion for
Summary Judgment. (ECF No. 251.) Magistrate Judge Lincoln D.
Almond recommended that Defendant's Motion be denied
(Report and Recommendation, ECF No. 267), and Defendant filed
an Objection (Def.'s Obj., ECF No. 269). For the reasons
set forth below, the Report and Recommendation is ACCEPTED.
Standard of Review
facts presented by the parties must be viewed “giving
the benefit of reasonable doubt to those against whom the
motion is directed.” Stella v. Town of Tewksbury,
Mass., 4 F.3d 53, 55 (1st Cir. 1993). The Court will
then grant summary judgment only “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.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). The Court reviews Magistrate Judge
Almond's Report and Recommendation de novo. See 28 U.S.C.
Stevens served as a boiler technician aboard the USS Allagash
from July 7, 1951 until October 11, 1952. (Pl.'s
Statement of Additional Undisputed Facts ¶¶ 88-89,
ECF No. 259-2.) The boilers on the Allagash were
manufactured by Defendant Foster Wheeler. (Id.
¶ 87.) During construction of those boilers, Foster
Wheeler used “asbestos containing materials” and
also “provided additional asbestos-containing materials
to be used in the boilers.” (Id.) Mr. Stevens
came in contact with Foster Wheeler's boilers and was
exposed to asbestos. (Id. ¶ 94.) Several
decades later, on August 30, 2013, Mr. Stevens was diagnosed
with mesothelioma. Mr. Stevens passed away less than two
years after that diagnosis, on January 19, 2015.
(Id. ¶ 84.) Several experts have provided
opinions linking Mr. Stevens' mesothelioma with his
exposure to asbestos while aboard the Allagash. (See
Id. ¶¶ 99-100.)
brought suit against Foster Wheeler, along with several other
parties, for damages relating to Mr. Stevens' exposure to
asbestos. (See Compl., ECF No. 1-1.) After discovery was
complete, Foster Wheeler moved for summary judgment on five
(1) Plaintiff's claims against Foster Wheeler are barred
by the government contractor defense;
(2) Foster Wheeler is not liable for products it did not
manufacture, design, supply, or install;
(3) Plaintiff's claims against Foster Wheeler are barred
by the “sophisticated user” defense;
(4) Plaintiff's claim for punitive damages is barred
under maritime law; and
(5) Plaintiff's claim for loss of consortium is barred
under maritime law.
(Def.'s Mot. for Summ. J. 2, ECF No. 251-1.) In response,
Plaintiff abandoned the punitive damages claim but opposed
the remainder of Foster Wheeler's Motion. (See Pl.'s
Opp'n to Def.'s Mot. for Summ. J. 60, ECF No. 259.)
The Court ...