Johnson v. Transwood Inc., Tuthill Corp., et al, No. 14-102 (M.D. LA)

Judge Shelly D. Dick of the Middle District Court of Louisiana granted the motion for summary judgment filed by Robert E. Kerrigan, Jr. and Raymond C. Lewis seeking dismissal of all product liability claims by the plaintiffs. Plaintiff suffered fatal injuries while attempting off-load the cargo contained in his tractor-trailer.  Suit was filed against our client and nine (9) other defendants.

The claims against our client were based solely on the recovery allowed by the Louisiana Products Liability Act (LPLA). Plaintiff alleged that our client’s off-loading equipment was unreasonably dangerous in design and manufacture and that adequate warnings about the risks associated with using the product were not provided.

After limited discovery and using an internal corporate engineer as the primary defense expert witness, we were able to establish that the product was not dangerous under the LPLA and sufficient warnings appeared in the sales materials and manuals and were even physically affixed to the product. We were also able to prove that the use of the product on the day of the accident was not even the most probable cause of the injury to the plaintiff.

Even after retaining multiple engineers as experts, the plaintiffs were unable to offer any proof in support of their claims under the LPLA and, ultimately, never opposed our client’s summary judgment. The District Court found the client’s summary judgment had merit and should be granted, but gave the plaintiffs additional time to file an opposition. Once the additional time expired, the District Court granted our client’s summary judgment and dismissed all claims.