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Armstrong v. 3M Co.

United States District Court, C.D. California

April 9, 2015

LARRY ARMSTRONG, INDIVIDUALLY; CAROLYN ARMSTRONG, INDIVIDUALLY Plaintiffs,
v.
3M COMPANY a/k/a MINNESOTA MINING & MANUFACTURING COMPANY, et al., Defendants.

ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT ROCKWELL AUTOMATION, INC.'s MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT [ECF NO. 184]

WILLIAM G. YOUNG, District Judge.[1]

ORDER

At a motion session on March 6, 2014, this Court heard argument on Rockwell Automation, Inc.'s Motion for Summary Judgment. Elec. Clerk's Notes, Mar. 6, 2015, ECF No. 303. The matter was taken under advisement in anticipation of supplemental briefing from the parties.

I. INTRODUCTION

In this action, Larry Armstrong and Carolyn Armstrong bring suit to recover for injuries inflicted upon Larry Armstrong ("Armstrong") due to his alleged exposure to asbestos stemming from Defendant Rockwell Automation Inc.'s ("Rockwell") products. Currently before this Court is Rockwell's motion for summary judgment. Def. Rockwell's Mot. Summ. J. ("Rockwell Mot."), ECF No. 184.

A. Procedural Background

Armstrong initially filed his complaint in California state court on January 7, 2014. Compl. Personal Injury - Asbestos (Negligence; Breach of Express and Implied Warranties; Strict Liability & Loss Consortium), Ex. B, ECF No. 1. Armstrong asserted claims based on negligence, strict liability, and breach of warranty. Id. In addition, Carolyn Armstrong brought a loss of consortium claim. Id. Rockwell timely removed the case to the Central District of California on February 10, 2014, on federal officer grounds. Def. Rockwell's Not. Removal, ECF No. 1. Plaintiffs filed an Amended Complaint on April 14, 2014. Compl. Personal Injury - Asbestos (Negligence; Breach of Express and Implied Warranties; Strict Liability & Loss Consortium), ECF No. 96.

Rockwell filed a motion for summary judgment, along with a supporting memorandum, on December 22, 2014. Def. Rockwell's Mot. Summ. J. ("Rockwell Mot."), ECF No. 184. Plaintiffs filed their opposition on January 12, 2015. Pls.' Mem. Points & Auths. Opp'n Def. Rockwell's Mot. Summ. K. ("Pls.' Opp'n Rockwell"), ECF No. 187. Rockwell replied on January 27, 2015. Def. Rockwell's Reply Supp. Mot. Summ. J. ("Rockwell Reply"), ECF No. 215.

Both parties filed supplemental briefing after the March 6, 2015 hearing on Rockwell's motion for summary judgment. See Def. Rockwell's Supp. Brief Supp. Mot. Summ. J., ECF No. 304; Pls.' Supp. Opp. Rockwell's Mot. Summ. J., ECF No. 305.

II. ANALYSIS

A. Standard of Review

A court must grant summary judgment 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). If sufficient evidence exists such that a trier of fact could find for the non-moving party, an issue of fact is "genuine." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). If a fact will affect the outcome of the case, the fact is "material." Id.

The burden is on the moving party to demonstrate that no genuine issue of material fact exists. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). "If... a moving party carries its burden of production, the nonmoving party must produce evidence to support its claim or defense. If the nonmoving party fails to produce enough evidence to create a genuine issue of material fact, the moving party wins the motion for summary judgment." Nissan Fire & Marine Ins. Co., Ltd. v. Fritz Cos., Inc., 210 F.3d 1099, 1102 (9th Cir. 2000) (internal citation omitted) (citing Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986)).

All justifiable inferences should be drawn in favor of the non-movant. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 255. However, the court must disregard all evidence upon which a party bears the burden of proof, which the jury is free to reject, unless the facts are admitted by both parties. Reeves v. Sanderson Plumbing Prods., Inc., 530 U.S. 133, 151 (2000). Further, the court may consider only admissible evidence and must disregard conclusory or speculative testimony. Soremekun v. ...


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