Justia Products Liability Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Tennessee Supreme Court
Commercial Painting Co. v. Weitz Co., LLC
The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals as to the applicability of the economic loss doctrine in this case, holding that the economic loss doctrine applies only in products liability cases and should not be expanded to apply outside the products liability context.In the underlying suit brought by a drywall subcontractor against a general contractor under theories of breach of contract and tort a jury awarded compensatory and punitive damages to the subcontractor. The court of appeals affirmed in part the award of compensatory damages for breach of contract, dismissed the tort claim, and reversed the award for punitive damages, holding that the economic loss doctrine applied outside the products liability context when the contract was negotiated between sophisticated commercial entities. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) the economic loss doctrine only applies in products liability cases and should not be extended to other claims; and (2) the economic loss doctrine did not bar the subcontractor's recovery of compensatory and punitive damages based on its tort claim. View "Commercial Painting Co. v. Weitz Co., LLC" on Justia Law
Coffman v. Armstrong International, Inc.
The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals reversing the trial court's grant of summary judgment to the manufacturers of certain equipment (Equipment Defendants) in this product liability action, holding that, on the facts and applicable law, the Equipment Defendants had no duty to warn of the dangers associated with the post-sale integration of asbestos-containing materials manufactured and sold by others.Plaintiffs asserted claims against the Equipment Defendants under the Tennessee Products Liability Act, Tenn. Code Ann. 29-28-101 through -108, for failing to warn of the dangers of exposure to asbestos-containing products that the Equipment Defendants did not manufacture or sell. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the Equipment Defendants. The court of appeals reversed, holding that the Equipment Defendants owed a common law duty to warn about the post-sale integration of asbestos-containing products manufactured and sold by others. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that, under the language of the Act, the Equipment Defendants could not be held liable for injuries resulting from products that they did not make, distribute, or sell. View "Coffman v. Armstrong International, Inc." on Justia Law