Oil-rig workmen (plaintiffs) were injured when a fire broke out in an oil field. The workmen sued multiple entities, including Cameron Iron Works, Inc., (defendant) the manufacturer of a blow-out preventer device that was designed to prevent explosions. The workmen alleged that the preventer failed to prevent the fire because it was defective. Cameron countered that the preventer—defective or not—could not have played a role because at the time of the fire, a device called the kelly was in the hole, which would have prevented use of the preventer. To support this contention, Cameron offered the deposition of Matthews Cormier, a drilling foreman, who testified that the preventer was never activated nor could it have been activated because of the presence of the kelly in the hole. The depositions of two of the workmen’s witnesses, who contended that the kelly was not in the hole, were not admitted. The trial court granted summary judgment for Cameron, and the workmen appealed and argued that their witness depositions were improperly ruled inadmissible.