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Hawkins Parnell Wins Summary Judgment in California Mesothelioma Case

April 5, 2022 – Press Release

April 5, 2022 (Alameda, CA) – Hawkins Parnell senior partner Peter York and partner Ana Reeg secured summary judgment for their client Rheem Manufacturing in a living mesothelioma case filed by the Maune Raichle firm in Alameda County, California. This case has an April 11, 2022 preference trial date.

Plaintiff is a 69-year-old retired HVAC technician and plumber who owned and operated his own business, alleging this was his only source of asbestos exposure. Plaintiff claimed he removed and replaced gaskets on Rheem package units and furnaces in the 1970s and 1980s. However, Hawkins Parnell established through Plaintiffs’ responses to discovery and deposition testimony, asserting that he did not know whether he encountered any originally manufactured or supplied equipment by Rheem. 

The court agreed with the evidence Rheem presented in its motion for summary judgment and found that Rheem shifted the burden to Plaintiffs. Plaintiffs could not present a triable issue of fact showing he worked with asbestos-containing Rheem products pursuant O’Neil v. Crane Co. (2012) 53 Cal.4th 335, 352.