In this asbestos exposure case, the plaintiffs were the daughters of decedent Joseph Murat, who a company that repaired marine vessels. Plaintiffs filed a complaint against Exxon Mobil Corporation and its subsidiary, SeaRiver Maritime, Inc., asserting claims for negligence under both the federal Longshore & Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act and state law. They claimed that Murat contracted mesothelioma because he was exposed to asbestos while on board vessels owned by Exxon Mobil/SeaRiver. The trial court granted summary judgment based on plaintiffs’ inability to establish a violation of a duty of care owed to Mr. Murat. The plaintiffs appealed.
ExxonMobil retained Horvitz & Levy LLP to work alongside Dentons in responding to the plaintiffs’ appeal, and to present oral argument.
The California Court of Appeal (Second Appellate District, Division Four), affirmed the judgment in an unpublished opinion, finding that plaintiffs’ summary judgment papers failed to establish a violation of a duty of care. The court also noted that “[t]he evidence, at best, showed only a mere possibility of exposure. . . [T]here is no evidence that [Mr. Murat’s] exposure was significant enough ‘to show a reasonable medical probability that this exposure was a factor in causing [Mr. Murat’s] injuries.’ . . . or otherwise show a triable issues of material fact.”