Justia Products Liability Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Iowa Supreme Court
In re Subpoena Issued to Dethmers Manufacturing Co. v. Mittapalli
The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the district court refusing to quash subpoenas that required production of documents and testimony for use in a Louisiana products liability lawsuit, holding that the subpoenas imposed undue burdens on Dethmers Manufacturing Company, an Iowa firm.The plaintiff in the products liability used Iowa's interstate discovery procedures to serve subpoenas on Dethmers, who was not a party to the Louisiana suit. The subpoenas required Dethmers to produce twenty-two categories of documents and testimony that were "extraordinarily broad." After Dethmers unsuccessfully moved to quash the subpoenas Dethmers brought this appeal. The Supreme Court reversed and remanded for entry of an order quashing the subpoenas, holding that the subpoenas were overly burdensome on their face and should be quashed. View "In re Subpoena Issued to Dethmers Manufacturing Co. v. Mittapalli" on Justia Law
Beverage v. Alcoa, Inc.
The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the district court granting summary judgment in favor of Defendants on Plaintiffs' premises liability claims against Alcoa Inc. and on their products liability claims against Iowa-Illinois Taylor Insulation, Inc. (IITI) for supplying asbestos-containing insulation in the Alcoa plant, holding that the district court erred.At issue was the provision in Iowa Code 686B.7(5) that a "defendant in an asbestos action or silica action shall not be liable for exposures from a product or component part made or sole by a third party." In the instant asbestos case, the district court read the statute to limit liability to manufacturers of the asbestos-containing product at issue. The district court held that section 686B.7(5) granted immunity to Alcoa and IITI because the asbestos-containing insulation was manufactured by third parties. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the district court failed to appreciate the legal significance of the legislature's use of the phrase "produce or component part made or sold by a third party" to reference a products liability defense known as the component parts defense as described in the specific context of asbestos litigation. View "Beverage v. Alcoa, Inc." on Justia Law