Product Fire

Arkansas Federal Court Fans the Product Liability Flames Utilizing the Malfunction Theory


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To establish a product liability claim in Arkansas, the plaintiff must prove that the product was supplied in a defective condition, which rendered it unreasonably dangerous and that the defective condition was the proximate cause of the claimed damage or injury. Ordinarily, a plaintiff relies upon direct evidence of a product defect to establish its product liability claim. However, in some cases, the product sustains so much damage that it is impossible for a plaintiff to obtain direct evidence of a defect. Continue reading

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Product Recall

Polaris Recalls Snowmobiles Due to Fire Hazard


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In subrogation cases where the insured’s damages were caused by a defective product, the fact that the product at issue is or was subject to a recall announced by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) may help to establish that the product was defective when it left the manufacturer’s possession and control. On July 16, 2020, the CPSC announced the following recall related to a product that presents a fire hazard:

Polaris Recalls Snowmobiles Due to Fire Hazard (Recall Alert).

According to the CPSC, “[t]he fuel hose can be improperly secured, posing a fire hazard to consumers.”

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Product Recall

RH Recalls Riveted Mesh Floor Lamps Due to Fire Hazard


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In subrogation cases where the insured’s damages were caused by a defective product, the fact that the product at issue is or was subject to a recall announced by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) may help to establish that the product was defective when it left the manufacturer’s possession and control. On July 9, 2020, the CPSC announced the following recall related to a product that presents a fire hazard:

RH Recalls Riveted Mesh Floor Lamps Due to Fire Hazard (Recall Alert).

According to the CPSC, “[t]he lamp’s on/off foot switch can overheat, melt or catch fire, posing a fire hazard.”

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Construction Defect

Massachusetts District Court Holds Contractors Are Not Additional Insureds on Developer’s Builder’s Risk Policy


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In Factory Mut. Ins. Co. v. Skanska United States Bldg., No. 18-cv-11700-DLC, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95403 (Skanska), the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts considered whether contractors on a construction job were additional insureds on the developer’s builder’s risk insurance policy. After a water loss occurred during construction, the builder’s risk insurance carrier paid its named insured for the resultant damage, and subsequently filed a subrogation action against two contractors. The defendants filed a motion for summary judgment, claiming that the anti-subrogation rule barred the carrier from subrogating against them because they were additional insureds on the policy. The court found that based on the particular language of the additional insured provision in the policy, the defendants were not additional insureds for purposes of the subrogation action. Continue reading

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Product Recall

Edwards Recalls Mechanical Heat Detectors


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In subrogation cases where the insured’s damages were caused by a defective product, the fact that the product at issue is or was subject to a recall announced by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) may help to establish that the product was defective when it left the manufacturer’s possession and control. On June 17, 2020, the CPSC announced the following recall related to a product that presents a fire hazard:

Edwards Recalls Mechanical Heat Detectors Due to Failure to Alert to Fire.

According to the CPSC, “[t]he recalled heat detectors can fail to activate in reaction to rising temperatures, posing a risk of failure to alert consumers to a fire.”

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Recall Alert

Rexair Recalls To Repair Rainbow SRX Vacuums


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In subrogation cases where the insured’s damages were caused by a defective product, the fact that the product at issue is or was subject to a recall announced by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) may help to establish that the product was defective when it left the manufacturer’s possession and control. On June 17, 2020, the CPSC announced the following recall related to a product that presents a fire hazard:

Rexair Recalls to Repair Rainbow SRX Vacuums Due to Fire and Burn Hazards.

According to the CPSC, “[t]he circuit board on the vacuum can spark, posing fire and burn hazards.”

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Figures

Wisconsin Court Applies the Economic Loss Doctrine to Bar Negligence Claims for Purely Economic Losses


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In Mech. Inc. v. Venture Elec. Contrs., Inc., No. 2018AP2380, 2020 Wisc. App. LEXIS 170, the Court of Appeals of Wisconsin, District Two, considered whether a party may bring a negligence claim for purely economic damages. In upholding the lower court, the appellate court found that a party is barred by the Economic Loss Doctrine from bringing a negligence claim for purely economic damages. Continue reading

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Gavel

Texas Federal Court Rules Amazon Can Be Sued for Defective Product


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Recently, in McMillan v. Amazon.com, Inc., No. 18-CV-2242, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 102025, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas ruled that Amazon.com, Inc. (Amazon) could be held liable as a “seller” under Texas’ product liability statute for injuries caused by a defective product sold by a third-party vendor on its website. Although the court’s analysis is based on Texas law, the decision puts one more crack in Amazon’s armor. Continue reading

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Community Buildings

Virginia Allows Condominium Association’s Insurer to Subrogate Against a Condominium Tenant


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In Erie Insurance Exchange v. Alba, Rec. No. 190389, 2020 Va. LEXIS 53, the Supreme Court of Virginia considered whether the trial court erred in finding that a condominium association’s property insurance provider waived its right of subrogation against a tenant of an individual unit owner. The Supreme Court reversed the lower court’s decision, holding that the insurance policy only named unit owners as additional insureds, not tenants, and thus the subrogation waiver in the insurance policy did not apply to tenants. The court also found that the condominium association’s governing documents provided no protections to the unit owner’s tenant because the tenant was not a party to those documents. This case establishes that, in Virginia, a condominium association’s insurance carrier can subrogate against a unit owner’s tenant where the tenant is not identified as an additional insured on the policy.

The Alba case involved a fire at a condominium building originating in a unit occupied by Naomi Alba (Alba), who leased the condominium under a rental agreement with the unit owner, John Sailsman (Sailsman). The agreement explicitly held Alba responsible for her conduct and the conduct of her guests. An addendum to the lease stated that Sailsman’s property insurance only applied to the “dwelling itself” and that Alba was required to purchase renters insurance to protect her personal property. Along with the rental agreement, Alba received the condominium association’s Rules & Regulations, Declarations and Bylaws. Continue reading

This entry was posted in Implied-Co-Insured, Subrogation – Equitable, Virginia, Waiver of Subrogation and tagged , , , .
Broken Bricks

Illinois Federal Court Determines if Damages Are Too Remote


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Foreseeability is a tort concept that tends to permeate several aspects of legal analysis, often causing confusion in litigants’ interpretation of, and courts’ application of, foreseeability to their cases. In Cincinnati Ins. Co. v. Progress Rail Services. Corp., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73967 (C.D. Ill.), the United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois took on the task of analyzing a case dealing with foreseeability issues to determine if the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty and if the damages were so remote as to violate public policy. The court held that since the defendant’s actions contributed to the risk of harm to the plaintiff and the facts satisfied the four-prong duty test, the defendant owed the plaintiff’s subrogor a duty of reasonable care. It also held that the plaintiff’s damage claim did not open the defendant up to liability that would violate public policy. Continue reading

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