Justia Products Liability Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Supreme Court of Ohio
Stiner v. Amazon.com, Inc.
In this products-liability action, the Supreme Court held that the trial court did not err in granting summary judgment to Amazon.com, Inc., holding that, under the facts of this case, Amazon could not be held liable as a "supplier" under the Ohio Products Liability Act, Ohio Rev. Code 2307.71 et seq.Eighteen-year-old Logan Stiner died after ingesting a fatal dose of caffeine powder that he obtained from his friend, K.K. His friend purchased the caffeine powder on Amazon. Tenkoris, LLC, a third-party vendor, sold the caffeine powder and posted the product on Amazon's website under the storefront name TheBulkSource. After K.K. gave some caffeine powder to Logan, he died of cardiac arrhythmia and seizure from acute caffeine toxicity. Dennis Steiner, the administrator of Logan's estate, brought this action against Amazon, alleging claims under the Ohio Products Liability Act and the Ohio Pure Food and Drug Act. The trial court granted summary judgment for Amazon. The court of appeals affirmed, concluding that Amazon was not a "supplier" as defined in section 2307.71(A)(15). The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the trial court properly granted summary judgment to Amazon on Plaintiff's product-liability claims. View "Stiner v. Amazon.com, Inc." on Justia Law
McAdams v. Mercedes-Benz, USA, LLC
The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals concluding that Plaintiff had opted out of a class-action settlement that was approved in Seifi v. Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC, holding that McAdams's status as a member of the Seifi class was determined in that case, and therefore, McAdams's claim in this case was barred by res judicata.While the Seifi class action was pending, McAdams filed a complaint against Mercedez-Benz USA, Mercedez-Benz Easton, and Mercedes-Benz of New Rochelle, alleging claims relating to issues with the balance-shaft gear and the transmission conductor plate of her Mercedes. After the judgment in the Seifi class action was issued, the trial court determined that McAdams was bound by the Seifi class action settlement because she had not formally opted out of the class action, and therefore, her balance-shaft-gear claim was barred by res judicata. The court of appeals reversed, concluding that McAdams had opted out of the Seifi class-action settlement. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that McAdams's claim that she had not opted out of the class action was barred by res judicata because the federal court determined who had opted out in its entry adopting the Seifi class-action settlement. View "McAdams v. Mercedes-Benz, USA, LLC" on Justia Law
Linert v. Foutz
Ross Linert sustained severe injuries when Adrien Foutz, an intoxicated driver, struck Ross’s vehicle from behind, triggering a fuel-fed fire. At the time of the accident, Ross, a veteran police officer, was on patrol in a 2005 Crown Victoria Police Interceptor (CVPI) manufactured by Ford Motor Company. Ross and his wife, Brenda Linert, sued Foutz. The Linerts subsequently added product liability and malice claims against Ford. The jury returned a verdict in favor of Ford on all of the Linerts’ claims. The Linerts appealed, arguing that the trial court erred in failing to instruct the jury on Ohio Rev. Code 2307.76(A)(2), Ohio’s statute governing manufacturers’ postmarked duty to warn consumers of risks associated with a product that are not discovered until after the product has been sold. The appellate court ordered a new trial on the Linerts’ postmarketing failure-to-warn claim, concluding that the there was sufficient evidence to warrant a jury instruction on the Linerts’ postmarketing failure-to-warn claim. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the trial court properly refused to instruct on a postmarketing duty to warn in this case. View "Linert v. Foutz" on Justia Law