Ninth Circuit Affirms Summary Judgment For GMSR Clients, Holding A Claimed “Dying Declaration” Inadmissible

Plaintiff’s attorney in this asbestos case presented a declaration just before plaintiff’s death, purporting to identify the manufacturers of products he was exposed to decades earlier.  Plaintiff signed the document the day before he died.  The Ninth Circuit held that the document did not fit under the hearsay exception for dying declarations.  It concluded that the district court did not abuse its discretion in ruling, following an evidentiary hearing, that the evidence did not establish (1) who prepared the declaration, (2) the source of details concerning the manufacturers’ liability and plaintiff’s exposure to asbestos, (3) whether plaintiff read the declaration, or that (4) plaintiff had personal knowledge of the declaration’s contents.

See the Court of Appeals Opinion.  (Varney v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company (9th Cir. 2021) 838 Fed.Appx. 288.)