Kruse v. Vanderbilt Minerals, LLCAnnotate this Case
Frank Kruse, administrator ad litem for the estate of Dansby W. Sanders, appealed the grant of summary judgment entered by the Mobile Circuit Court in favor of R.T. Vanderbilt Company, Inc., now known as Vanderbilt Minerals, LLC ("Vanderbilt"), in a wrongful-death action. Dansby was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2009; he sued numerous defendants in 2010, alleging that he had been exposed to asbestos through products manufactured and distributed by those defendants during the 37-year period he worked for Mobile Paint Company. Dansby filed an amended complaint naming Vanderbilt as a defendant because of its role as a supplier of industrial talc under the brand name "Nytal." After a thorough review of the trial court record, the Supreme Court concluded that the trial court erred in entering a summary judgment in favor of Vanderbilt. "The trial court entered its judgment on a basis not contemplated by its own scheduling order and, in fact, not presented in the motion for a summary judgment filed in keeping with that order (and, in any event, Sanders subsequently presented substantial evidence contradicting that basis for the summary judgment)." Furthermore, the Court found that Sanders presented substantial evidence that Dansby was exposed to Nytal talc supplied by Vanderbilt during his employment at Mobile Paint, thus demonstrating a genuine issue of fact as to the issue actually raised in the motion for a summary judgment. Accordingly, the judgment of the trial court was reversed and the case remanded for further proceedings.