On July 22, 2015, the Rhode Island Superior Court granted summary judgment to Strauss Factor’s client based on the Ohio statute of repose for improvements to real property. The client manufactured power-generation turbines installed in power plants in Ohio and Michigan. Plaintiff alleged he had been exposed to asbestos in insulation blankets installed on the turbines. Strauss Factor filed a motion for summary judgment arguing the turbines were improvements to real property under both the Ohio and Michigan statutes of repose. Plaintiff argued that the Michigan statute of repose should not apply because most of plaintiff’s exposures occurred in Ohio. Plaintiff argued the Ohio statute of repose should not apply because an unpublished Ohio trial court decision had held that asbestos claims were governed by the Ohio statute of repose for products liability claims that contained an express exception for asbestos claims. The Rhode Island Superior Court held that it would apply Ohio law all to all of plaintiff’s alleged exposures. It then held that the Ohio statute of repose for improvements to real property controlled because it had a clause stating it applied “notwithstanding” the provisions of any other applicable statute. Accordingly, the court granted the summary judgment motion. Plaintiff has filed a motion for reconsideration that is presently pending before the court.
Baumgartner v. American Standard, Inc., C.A. No. PC-13-4151, 2015 WL 4523476 (R.I.Super. July 22, 2015)
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