Fitzpatrick & Hunt Wins Summary Judgment on Product Liability and Negligence Claims

The U.S. Court for the District of Oregon granted Sierra International Machinery’s motion on strict product liability claim. John M. Socolow, partner, and Rudolph V. Pino, Jr., senior counsel, of Fitzpatrick & Hunt, Pagano, Aubert, LLP handled the case for the firm, representing Sierra.

The plaintiff sustained serious injury while performing maintenance on a metal shearing machine designed and manufactured in Italy and sold in the United States by Sierra International Machinery, LLC. The plaintiff filed suit in Oregon state court, which Sierra removed to the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon. The plaintiff alleged strict product liability and negligence against Sierra.

In July 2017, the Court found the plaintiff failed to present sufficient expert evidence as to the effectiveness, feasibility, functional practicality or cost-effectiveness of the plaintiff’s proposed alternative designs and granted summary judgement in favor of Sierra on plaintiff's product liability claim.

The Court gave the plaintiff leave to file an amended complaint to offer particularized allegations of Sierra’s complained-of negligence. After the plaintiff filed his amended complaint, Sierra conducted further expert discovery and renewed its motion for summary judgment of the plaintiff’s remaining claim. The Court granted Sierra’s renewed motion and dismissed the balance of the case, finding the plaintiff could not establish causation, either on a negligent design theory or a negligent failure to warn theory.

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Fitzpatrick & Hunt, Pagano, Aubert, LLP serves clients in diverse areas, such as aviation and aerospace; general products liability; premises/construction/labor law; cyber security; insurance coverage; entertainment/media and employment law. Our offices are based in New York City; White Plains, New York; Los Angeles; and New Jersey.