MARY SUPREY, individually and as the Personal Representative of the Estate of PAUL F. MCCARTHY Plaintiff,
CBS CORPORATION F/K/A VIACOM, INC., et al. Defendants.
County Superior Court
Plaintiff: Robert J. Sweeney, Esq.
Defendant: Jeffrey M. Thomen, Esq.; Randolph B. Totten, Esq.;
Victoria M. Almeida, Esq.; Mark O. Denehy, Esq.; James R.
Oswald, Esq.; Andrew R. McConville, Esq.
General Electric Company (Defendant or GE) brings this Rule
60(b) Motion for Relief from Order with respect to this
Court's June 27, 2017 Decision (the Decision), in which
several defendants' motion for summary judgment was
denied. The Court exercises jurisdiction pursuant to G.L.
1956 § 8-2-14. For the reasons stated herein, GE's
Motion for Relief from Order is granted and this Court enters
an order granting summary judgment for GE.
Facts and Travel
asbestos liability action, Plaintiff contends that Paul F.
McCarthy, the Decedent, was exposed to asbestos-containing
products while he was employed by the U.S. Navy and the U.S.
Postal Service. With regard to GE, the Plaintiff alleges that
Mr. McCarthy was exposed to GE asbestos-containing material
products while he worked for the Navy and lived aboard the
U.S.S. Glennon (Glennon). A more detailed
recitation of the facts and procedural history was provided
by this Court in its June 27, 2017 Decision. See Suprey
v. Alfa Laval, Inc., No. PC-2013-3511, No. PC-2013-3512,
2017 WL 2840563 (R.I. Super. June 27, 2017) (Gibney, P.J.).
Warren Pumps, LLC, Gardner Denver, Inc., and GE sought
summary judgment, and oral arguments were heard on February
1, 2017. In support of its motion for summary judgment, GE
argued that the Plaintiff failed to provide evidence that Mr.
McCarthy was exposed to any asbestos-containing GE products
on a regular basis over an extended period of time and in
close proximity. On June 27, 2017, this Court published its
Decision, denying Defendants' motion for summary
judgment. GE filed the instant Rule 60(b) Motion for
Relief from Order on August 8, 2017.
Standard of Review
"no authority exists for the filing of a motion to
reconsider, " a motion to reconsider is treated as a
motion to vacate under Rule 60(b) of the Rhode Island
Superior Court Rules of Civil Procedure (Rule 60(b)).
Neufville v. State, 172 A.3d 161, 167 (R.I. 2017);
Sch. Comm. of Cranston v. Bergin-Andrews, 984 A.2d
629, 649 (R.I. 2009). A motion for relief from a judgment or
order under Rule 60(b) "'is addressed to the trial
justice's sound judicial discretion and his ruling will
not be disturbed on appeal absent a showing of an abuse of
discretion or an error of law.'" Casa DiMario,
Inc. v. Richardson, 763 A.2d 607, 612 (R.I. 2000)
(quoting Brown v. Amaral, 460 A.2d 7, 11 (R.I.
1983)). Rule 60(b) gives a Superior Court justice the
authority to grant relief from a judgment or order for the
"(1) Mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable
neglect; (2) Newly discovered evidence which by due diligence
could not have been discovered in time to move for a new
trial under Rule 59(b); (3) Fraud, misrepresentation, or
other misconduct of an adverse party; (4) The judgment is
void; (5) The judgment has been satisfied, released, or
discharged, or a prior judgment upon which the judgment is
based has been reversed or otherwise vacated, or it is no
longer equitable that the judgment should have prospective
application; or (6) Any other reason justifying relief from
the operation of the judgment." Super. R. Civ. P. 60(b).
Superior Court has "broad power to vacate judgments
whenever that action is appropriate to accomplish
justice" in accordance with Rule 60(b)(6). Bendix
Corp. v. Norberg, 122 R.I. 155, 158, 404 A.2d 505, 506
(1979). However, the Rhode Island Supreme Court has
recognized that Rule 60(b)(6) is "'not intended to
constitute a catchall and . . . that circumstances must be
extraordinary to justify relief.'" Archetto v.
Smith, 179 A.3d 144, 146 (Mem.) (R.I. 2018) (quoting
Santos v. D. Laikos, Inc., 139 A.3d 394, 399 (R.I.
2016)). The moving party bears the burden of convincing the
Court that there are legally ...