Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Ford Motor Co. v. Sheets

Court of Appeals of Kentucky

March 22, 2019

FORD MOTOR COMPANY APPELLANT
v.
CLARA SUSAN SHEETS, EXECUTRIX OF THE ESTATE O STEVEN RAY SHEETS APPELLEE

          APPEAL FROM JEFFERSON CIRCUIT COURT HONORABLE MARY SHAW, JUDGE ACTION NO. 15-CI-003525

          BRIEFS FOR APPELLANT: Paul D. Hudson Kalamazoo, Michigan R. Thad Keal Prospect, Kentucky

          BRIEF FOR APPELLEE: Joseph D. Satterly Louisville, Kentucky

          BEFORE: COMBS, DIXON AND GOODWINE, JUDGES.

          OPINION

          COMBS, JUDGE.

         The Appellant, Ford Motor Company, appeals from an order of the Jefferson Circuit Court denying its motion for summary judgment. For the reasons set forth below, we vacate and remand.

         This is an asbestos case. The decedent, Steven Ray Sheets, worked as a millwright for approximately forty years. In July 2015, he was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma. On July 17, 2015, Mr. Sheets filed a Complaint in the Jefferson Circuit Court against Ford and multiple other defendants alleging that he had contracted mesothelioma as a result of his exposure to asbestos. In the 1970s and 1980s, Mr. Sheets had worked at Ford while he was employed by Rapid Industries, which was an independent contractor of Ford. Sadly, Mr. Sheets died on July 26, 2015, from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The Appellee, Clara Susan Sheets, Executrix of the Estate of Steven Ray Sheets, revived his lawsuit and was substituted as Plaintiff.

         On August 4, 2017, Ford filed a motion for summary judgment. Ford contended that "neither the record evidence nor Kentucky law supports Plaintiff's claims . . . . Summary judgment is appropriate at this stage for three separate reasons, each of which is independently fatal to Plaintiff's claims against Ford." Ford argued that it was immune from tort liability as an "up-the-ladder" or statutory employer under KRS[1] 342.610(2)(b) of the Kentucky Workers' Compensation Act (Act), citing General Electric v. Cain, 236 S.W.3d 579 (Ky. 2007).[2] Ford also argued that it had no duty to warn independent contractors pursuant to Brewster v. Colgate Palmolive Co., 279 S.W.3d 142 (Ky. 2009). Ford also argued that there was a lack of causation because Plaintiff's evidence -- even when viewed in a light most favorable to her -- could not meet the standard set forth in Bailey. v. N. Am. Refractories Co., 95 S.W.3d 868 (Ky. App. 2001).

         On September 5, 2017, Sheets filed a response.

         On November 30, 2017, the trial court entered a one-sentence, handwritten order, which provided as follows in its entirety: "Motion for Summary judgment filed by Δ Ford Motor Company is Denied."

         On December 29, 2017, Ford filed a notice of appeal to this Court from the trial court's "November 30, 2017, Order denying Ford's motion for summary judgment based on 'up-the-ladder' immunity under the Kentucky Workers' Compensation Act, KRS 342.690. This appeal is by matter of right under Ervin Cable Constr., LLC v. Lay, 461 S.W.3d 422 (Ky. App. 2015)."

         On January 1, 2018, Sheets filed a motion for transfer of the appeal to the Supreme Court. By order entered March 22, 2018, the Supreme Court summarily denied the motion.

         On May 16, 2018, Sheets filed a motion to dismiss Ford's appeal and argued, inter alia, that an order denying a motion for summary judgment is interlocutory and not appealable and that "Ford's interlocutory appeal is only ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.