Justice Peter H. Moulton


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Evans alleged he was exposed to asbestos-containing products in the U.S. Navy claiming he came into contact with asbestos-containing products for which defendant Burnham LLC bore responsibility while he was employed as an HVAC mechanic by Vulcan Engineering. Burnham moved to preclude Evans from mentioning or objecting to any testimony of its corporate witness, Pepper, based on a lack of personal knowledge as Pepper was not employed by Burnham until 1991. Burnham argued Pepper’s testimony was offered in his capacity as a corporate representative, not an individual, thus whether he had personal knowledge of the subject matter of his testimony was irrelevant. It noted Federal Rule 30(b)(6) provided a person designated to testify on a corporation’s behalf “shall testify as to matters known or reasonably available to the organization.” Evan argued the motion was overbroad, noting Burnham did not identify any documents or testimony regarding Pepper it sought to exclude. The court denied Burnham’s in limine motion finding §30(b)(6) was inapplicable, and New York law was to the contrary, finding Burnham could not circumvent a requirement for a witness to have personal knowledge simply because they testified for a corporation.