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Livingston v. ABB, Inc.

United States District Court, C.D. California

April 2, 2015

PATRICIA ANN LIVINGSTON, individually and as personal representative of the estate of Gerald Livingston, DEBORAH SELBY, DOUGLAS LIVINGSTON, and DAVID LIVINGSTON, Plaintiffs,
v.
ABB, INC., individually and as successor-in-interest to ITE IMPERIAL CO. f/k/a ITE CIRCUIT BREAKER COMPANY, et al., Defendants

For Patricia Ann Livingston, individually and as personal representative of the estate of Gerald Livingston, Plaintiff: Jennifer L Bartlett, Simon Greenstone Panatier Bartlett LP, Long Beach, CA; Robert Allen Green, Stuart J Purdy, Tyson Brannan Gamble, Brian P Barrow, Simon Greenstone Panatier Bartlett PC, Long Beach, CA.

For Deborah Selby, Douglas Livingston, David Livingston, Plaintiffs: Brian P Barrow, Robert Allen Green, Stuart J Purdy, Simon Greenstone Panatier Bartlett PC, Long Beach, CA; Jennifer L Bartlett, Simon Greenstone Panatier Bartlett LP, Long Beach, CA.

For The Boeing Company, successor to McDonnell Douglas, successor-by-merger to Douglas Aircraft, Defendant: David M Abner, Lindsay Weiss, Cooley Manion Jones LLP, San Francisco, CA; John Thomas Hugo, Cooley Manion Jones LLP, Los Angeles, CA.

For CBS Corporation, a Delaware Corporation fka Viacom, Inc. sued as successor-by-merger to CBS Corporation a Pennsylvania Corporation fka Westinghouse Electric Corporation, Defendant: Kevin D Jamison, Kimberly Lynn Rivera, Previn A Wick, Pond North LLP, Los Angeles, CA.

For Curtiss-Wright Corporation, Defendant: Deborah A Smith, LEAD ATTORNEY, Gordon and Rees LLP, Oakland, CA.

For General Electric Company, Defendant: Charles T Sheldon, Derek S Johnson, Katherine Paige Gardiner, Walsworth Franklin Bevins and McCall LLP, San Francisco, CA.

For Gould Electronics Inc, successor-in-interest to ITE Circuit Breaker Company, Defendant: Arturo E Sandoval, Khaled Taqi-Eddin, Foley and Mansfield PLLP, Oakland, CA.

For IMO Industries, Inc., sued individually and as successor-in-interest to Adel Fasteners, and Wiggins Connectors, Defendant: Bobbie R Bailey, LEAD ATTORNEY, Leader and Berkon LLP, Los Angeles, CA; Vanthara Meak, Howard Rome Martin and Ridley LLP, Redwood City, CA.

For United Technologies Corporation, sued as successor-in-interest to Pratt and Whitney, Defendant: John K Son, Tucker Ellis LLP, Los Angeles, CA.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTIONS FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT [ECF NOS. 330, 333, 336, and 341]

WILLIAM G. YOUNG, DISTRICT JUDGE.[1]

I. INTRODUCTION

Patricia Ann Livingston, Deborah Selby, Douglas Livingston, and David Livingston (the " Plaintiffs" ) bring this action for the wrongful death of Gerald Livingston (" Livingston" ), allegedly caused by exposure to asbestos and asbestos-containing products. See Second Am. Compl. Wrongful Death (" Am. Compl." ), ECF No. 187. Motions for summary judgment were filed by four defendants: United Technologies Corporation (" UTC" ), Schneider Electric USA, Inc. (" Schneider" ), Curtiss-Wright Corporation (" Curtiss-Wright" ), and Eaton Corporation (" Eaton" ) (collectively, the " Defendants" ). On September 10, 2014, the Court issued an order setting out some of its rulings and inviting further briefing. Here, the Court sets out its remaining rulings and explains its reasoning as to all four motions.

A. Procedural Posture

This action was initiated on February 10, 2012, when Livingston and his wife Patricia Ann filed a personal injury complaint in the Central District of California against more than two dozen defendants for exposing Livingston to asbestos. See Compl., ECF No. 1. On September 3, 2012, Livingston passed away, and his heirs were granted leave to file an amended complaint for wrongful death. See Pls.' Case Status Report 1:20, 2:1-9, ECF No. 184; Minutes Status Conf., Oct. 1, 2012, ECF No. 18 6. A second amended complaint was filed on October 15, 2012, by Patricia Ann Livingston (acting both individually and as personal representative of Gerald Livingston's estate) Deborah Selby, Douglas Livingston, and David Livingston. See Am. Compl.

Four motions for summary judgment, all specifically addressed to the issue of asbestos exposure, are before the Court. First, on September 19, 2013, UTC filed a motion for summary judgment as to all claims against it. Def. United Techs. Corp.'s Notice Mot. Summ. J. (" UTC SJ Mot." ), ECF No. 330; see id., Ex. 1, Def. United Techs. Corp.'s Mot. Summ. J.; Mem. Points & Auths. (" UTC's Mem." ), ECF No. 330-1. The Plaintiffs filed a memorandum in opposition to UTC's motion on October 4, 2013. Pls.' Mem. Points & Auths. Opp'n Def United Techs. Corp.'s Mot. Summ. J. (" Pls.' UTC Opp'n" ), ECF No. 347. UTC filed a reply on October 18, 2013. Def. United Techs. Corp.'s Reply Supp. Mot. Summ. J. (" UTC's Reply" ), ECF No. 365. Almost a year later, on August 27, 2014, the Plaintiffs filed a supplemental opposition brief containing deposition testimony taken after their original opposition brief was filed. See Supp. Opp'n & Pls.' Mem. Points & Auths. Opp'n Def. United Techs. Corp.'s Mot. Summ. J. (" Pls.' Supp. UTC Opp'n" ), ECF No. 421. UTC responded on September 2, 2014, pointing out that the Plaintiffs did not seek leave to file further briefs with the Court and substantively responding to the Plaintiffs' supplemental arguments. See Def. United Techs. Corp.'s Resp. Pls.' Supp. Opp'n Mot. Summ. J.; Decl. John K. Son (" UTC's Supp. Reply" ), ECF No. 424.

Second, on September 20, 2013, Schneider filed a motion for summary judgment on all claims as to it. Notice Def. Schneider Elec. USA, Inc.'s Mot. Summ. J. (" Schneider SJ Mot." ), ECF No. 333; see id., Ex. 1, Mem. Points & Auths. Supp. Def. Schneider Elec. USA, Inc.'s Mot. Summ. J. (" Schneider's Mem." ), ECF No. 333-1. The Plaintiffs filed their opposition on October 4, 2013. Pls.' Mem. Points & Auths. Opp'n Def. Schneider Elec. USA, Inc.'s Mot. Summ. J. (" Pls.' Schneider Opp'n" ), ECF No. 350. Schneider replied on October 18, 2013. Def. Schneider Elec. USA, Inc.'s Reply Br. Supp. Mot. Summ. J. (" Schneider's Reply" ), ECF No. 363.

Third, on September 20, 2013, Curtiss-Wright moved for summary judgment on all claims against it. Def. Curtiss-Wright Corp.'s Notice Mot. & Mot. Summ. J. Causation (" Curtiss-Wright SJ Mot." ), ECF No. 336; see id., Ex. 1, Def. Curtiss-Wright Corp.'s Mem. Points & Auths. Supp. Mot. Summ. J. Causation (" Curtiss-Wright's Mem." ), ECF No. 336-1. The Plaintiffs filed their opposition on October 4, 2013. Pls.' Mem. Points & Auths. Opp'n Def. Curtiss-Wright Corp.'s Mot. Summ. J. (" Pls.' Curtiss-Wright Opp'n" ), ECF No. 348. Curtiss-Wright replied on October 18, 2013. Def. Curtiss-Wright Corp.'s Reply Mem. Points & Auths. Supp. Mot. Summ. J. Causation (" Curtiss-Wright's Reply" ), ECF No. 366.

Fourth, on September 23, 2013, Eaton, individually and as successor-in-interest to Culter Hammer, Inc. (collectively " Eaton" ), moved for summary judgment on all claims as to it. Def. Eaton Corp., Individually & Successor-in-interest Cutler Hammer, Inc.'s Notice Mot. Summ. J. (" Eaton SJ Mot." ), ECF No. 341; see id., Ex. 1, Def. Eaton Corp., Individually & Successor-in-interest Cutler Hammer, Inc.'s Mot. Summ. J. Mem. Points & Auths. (" Eaton's Mem." ), ECF No. 341-1. The Plaintiffs filed an opposition memorandum on October 4, 2013. Pls.' Mem. Points & Auths. Opp'n Def. Eaton Corp.'s Mot. Summ. J. (" Pls.' Eaton Opp'n" ), ECF No. 349. Eaton replied on October 18, 2013. Def. Eaton ...


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