In this asbestosis case, the plaintiff sued Keenan, claiming that it had supplied Johns-Mansville manufactured asbestos-cement pipe to a pipe-laying construction project on which plaintiff had worked in 1977.  The business records of Kennan and the contractor had meanwhile been destroyed.  The only evidence plaintiff had to link Keenan to the project was the testimony of his supervisor on the project who said he saw invoices or shipping orders with Keenan’s name on them when he received and signed for shipments of pipe at the project.  This decision holds that the invoices were hearsay offered to prove the truth of the matter stated in them; namely that Kennan had supplied the pipe.  No exception the hearsay rule permitted admission of the invoices or the supervisor’s testimony about them. They weren’t admissible under the party-declarant exception because the invoices themselves were not admitted, only the supervisor’s testimony about them.  The rules regarding authentication of documents didn’t help plaintiff since the problem was hearsay not lack of authentication, and the supervisor’s testimony attempting to authenticate the invoices was inadmissible.

California Court of Appeal, First District, Division 5 (Jones, P.J.; Needham, J., dissenting); October 26, 2018 (published November 19, 2018); 29 Cal. App. 5th 203