Justia Products Liability Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals
Guarino v. Wyeth, et al.
Plaintiff brought claims of negligence, strict liability, breach of warranty, misrepresentation and fraud, and negligence per se against defendants, alleging that she developed tardive dyskinesia after taking generic metoclopramide manufactured by Defendant Teva for a period of greater than 12 weeks, contrary to administrative guidance issued by the FDA. The court affirmed the district court's dismissal of plaintiff's claims against Teva as preempted by federal law and because, preemption aside, the learned intermediary doctrine prevented her from stating a claim upon which relief could be granted under Florida law; affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of Defendant Brand Manufacturers because Florida law did not permit an injured consumer to recover from the brand manufacturer of a prescription drug if the consumer is known to have ingested only the generic form of that drug; and noted that, insofar as plaintiff sought redress for her injuries, such redress lies with Congress or the Florida legislature. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment. View "Guarino v. Wyeth, et al." on Justia Law
United Fire and Casualty Co. v. Whirlpool Corp.
United Fire, as subrogee for Robert and Theresa Corral, brought a strict products liability suit against Whirlpool, alleging that a Whirlpool-manufactured clothes dryer caused a fire in the Corrals' home. United Fire appealed the district court's orders excluding the proffered testimony of two expert witnesses, Mr. Arms and Dr. Clarke, and granting Whirlpool's motion for summary judgment on United Fire's sole claim of relief. The court held that excluding the part of Mr. Arms' testimony regarding the physical origin of the fire was an abuse of discretion where the testimony was based on a widely accepted methodology and grounded in the available physical evidence. While Dr. Clarke's ultimate conclusions could be contested, it was an abuse of discretion to conclude that the basic methodology applied to analyze the metal dryer duct lacked minimum scientific reliability. Applying the "Cassisi inference," the court held that there were genuine issues as to whether a manufacturing defect within the dryer caused the fire. Accordingly, the court affirmed in part and reversed in part the exclusion of Mr. Arms' expert testimony; reversed the exclusion of Dr. Clarke's expert testimony; reversed the grant of summary judgment; and remanded for further proceedings. View "United Fire and Casualty Co. v. Whirlpool Corp." on Justia Law
Strickland v. Norfolk Southern Railway Co.
Plaintiff filed suit against his employer, Norfolk Southern, stating claims under the Federal Employers' Liability Act (FELA), 45 U.S.C. 51 et seq., and the Federal Safety Appliance Act (FSAA), 49 U.S.C. 20301 et seq. Plaintiff claimed that he suffered a shoulder injury as a result of a faulty handbrake during his work shift. Without addressing the sufficiency of plaintiff's testimony, the district court granted summary judgment to Norfolk Southern. The court found that the district court applied the wrong standard for summary judgment and that, even if it had applied the correct standard, summary judgment was improper. Accordingly, the court reversed and remanded. View "Strickland v. Norfolk Southern Railway Co." on Justia Law
Farias v. Mr.Heater, Inc.
Plaintiff-Appellant Lilybet Farias appealed the grant of summary judgment in favor of Defendants-Appellants Mr. Heater, Inc., Enerco Group, Inc. and The Home Depot, Inc. Further, she appealed the denial of the Rule 59 motion for reconsideration in favor of Defendants on her claims of strict products liability and negligent failure-to-warn. Plaintiff asserted that Defendants negligently failed to warn her of the danger which could result from the indoor use of two propane gas-fired infra-red portable heaters that she purchased from Home Depot and which had been manufactured by Enerco and Mr. Heater. As a result of the allegedly inadequate warnings, Plaintiff argued she unwittingly used the heaters inside her home and when she failed to close a valve on one of the gas tanks before going to sleep, her home caught fire causing thousands of dollars in damages. On appeal, Plaintiff argued the district court erred by resolving as a matter of law, rather than leaving the issue for the jury's determination, the question of the adequacy of the warnings and instructions provided with the heaters. Upon review, the Eleventh Circuit saw no error in the district court's conclusion that the warnings provided by Defendants were inadequate as a matter of law. Accordingly, the Court affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of Defendants. View "Farias v. Mr.Heater, Inc." on Justia Law