Defendant Ford Motor Company's Motion for Summary
Honorable Calvin L. Scott, Jr. J.
Constance L. Aveni, individually and as Personal
Representative of the Estate of Vincenzo J. Aveni, deceased,
("Plaintiff") cannot satisfy the summary judgment
criteria on the issues of product
identification. Plaintiff alleges that Vincenzo Aveni
("Mr. Aveni") developed lung cancer from using
Defendant Ford Motor Company's ("Ford")
products. Plaintiff offered Mr. Aveni's son, Joseph
Aveni, as the product identification witness. Ford filed a
Motion for Summary Judgment arguing that it is entitled to
summary judgment because Plaintiff cannot show sufficient
product identification. Ford argues that under Ohio law,
Plaintiff has not established that Ford's product was a
substantial factor in causing Mr. Aveni's injury. Ford
argues that Joseph Aveni testified to his father's
non-occupational work on vehicles, and he stated that he did
not know the manufacturer of the brakes his father removed.
Additionally, Ford argues that Plaintiff failed to
demonstrate causation because the expert report is too
offered evidence that all of Ford's drum brake shoes for
consumer applications prior to the 1980s were asbestos
containing. Plaintiff argues that she presented sufficient
evidence under Ohio substantive law to meet the standard.
Joseph Aveni testified that he helped his father with
automobile work around 1974 and 1975. Joseph Aveni recalled
that his father worked on Ford Ecoline vans, a Ford F-150,
three Pintos, a Ford Granada, and a 1971 Comet. Joseph Aveni
testified that the Ford vans were purchased new, and his
father changed the oil, brakes, and muffler on the vans.
Joseph Aveni could not identify the manufacture of the
brakes. Additionally, Plaintiff argues that the Ford Pintos
were purchased new and Mr. Aveni performed maintenance and
work on the brakes, shocks, and springs. Finally, Plaintiff
argues that Joseph Aveni testified that the Ford Comet was
purchased new and that his father performed work on the
springs and brakes. Plaintiff rationalizes that this scenario
is similar to the plaintiff in an Ohio case,
Schwartz. Ford argues that Mr. Aveni's case is
dissimilar to Schwartz because unlike the plaintiff
in Schwartz who identified always using Bendix
brakes, the product identification witness in Mr. Aveni's
case, his son, cannot testify to the manufacturer of the
brakes he removed.
substantive law applies to the present Motion. Ohio adopted
the "substantial factor" test. Thus, "for
each defendant in a multidefendant asbestos case, the
plaintiff has the burden of proving exposure to the
defendant's product and that the product was a
substantial factor in causing the plaintiff's
injury." This "modified Lohrmann
standard" permits a claim to survive summary
judgment if the plaintiff was exposed to asbestos from a
defendant's product on a frequent and regular basis. The
Court agrees with Ford, and summary judgment is appropriate.
The only product identification witness in this case is
Joseph Aveni. Although his testimony is clear that some of
the Ford vehicles his father worked on were purchased new,
that is not enough to demonstrate that his father was exposed
to asbestos from Ford's products. Although Plaintiff
submitted evidence demonstrating that all of Ford's drum
brakes contained asbestos prior to 1980, it is pure
speculation that Mr. Aveni replaced Ford products that
contained asbestos. Joseph Aveni testified that he did not
recall the manufactures of brakes and gaskets for the cars,
except for Bendix. The only Ford product he identified were
Ford hoses for the 1981 Ford Pinto. A reasonable jury could
not infer that Ford's asbestos products were a
substantial factor in causing Mr. Aveni's injuries.
Therefore, Defendant Ford Motor Company's Motion for
Summary Judgment is hereby GRANTED.
IS SO ORDERED.
 Super. Ct. Civ. R. 56; Smith v.
Advanced Auto Parts, Inc., 2013 WL 6920864, at *3 (Del.
Super. Dec. 30, 2013); see Moore v. Sizemore, 405
A.2d 679, 680 (Del. 1979); Nutt v. A.C. & S.,
Inc., 517 A.2d 690, 692 (Del. Super. Ct. 1986); In
re Asbestos Litigation (Helm), 2012 WL 3264925 (Del.
Aug. 13, 2012).
 Schwartz v. Honeywell Int'l.
Inc., 66 N.E.3d 118 (Oh. Ct. App. 2016).
 Fisher v. Alliance Machine
Co., 947 N.E.2d 1308, 1310-11 (Oh. Ct. App.
Lohrmann v. Pittsburgh Corning
Corp, 782 F.2d 1156 (4th Cir. 1986)(adopting the
"frequency, regularity, and proximity" test of