Articles Posted in Products Liability

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Plaintiffs, two separate couples, brought suit seeking damages stemming from asbestos-caused diseases. Several Defendants in each case moved for summary judgment. In the first lawsuit, which led to two interlocutory appeals, the trial court denied Defendants’ motions for summary judgment. In the second lawsuit, the trial court entered summary judgment for Defendants as a final judgment. At issue in each appeal was the trial court’s ruling on a motion for summary judgment asserting the ten-year statute of repose included in Indiana’s Product Liability Act. In all three appeals, which the Supreme Court consolidated, Plaintiffs requested reconsideration of the Court’s prior holding in AlliedSignal v. Ott. The Supreme Court (1) declined to reconsider Ott’s holdings with respect to statutory construction due to the principles of stare decisis and legislative acquiescence; but (2) concluded that the Product Liability Act’s statute of repose did not bar Plaintiffs’ claims, as the Act’s statute of repose does not apply to cases such as these where the plaintiffs have had protracted exposure to inherently dangerous foreign substances. View "Myers v. Crouse-Hinds Div. of Cooper Indus., Inc." on Justia Law

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Parents of a young man killed in a helicopter accident in British Columbia appealed an Indiana trial court's dismissal of their complaint in favor of the Canadian forum, arguing that their claim should be tried in Indiana because they would only be entitled to nominal damages under British Columbia law. The Supreme Court affirmed the trial court's judgment after adopting the reasoning of the U.S. Supreme Court in Piper Aircraft Co. v. Reyno, holding that British Columbia provided an available and adequate forum under applicable law, and the trial court did not otherwise abuse its discretion in dismissing the complaint on the ground of forum non conveniens. View "Otieno v. Rolls-Royce Corp." on Justia Law

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Plaintiff claimed that her husband's death was caused by Defendant's negligence in installing or removing asbestos-containing materials and brought product-liability and contractor-negligence claims against Defendant. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of Defendant, concluding (1) the application or removal of asbestos-containing products or asbestos-insulted equipment by a contractor is an improvement to real property, and (2) thus, the claim had not been brought within the time Indiana law requires for a claim arising from the construction of an improvement to real property. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that there was a genuine issue of material fact as to whether Defendant's work constituted an "improvement to real property," as that phase was commonly understood. View "Gill v. Evansville Sheet Metal Works, Inc." on Justia Law