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Rhode Island Changes Its Products Liability Law


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Rhode Island’s governor, Daniel McKee, signed 2021 R.I. HB 5867/2021 R.I. SB 736 into law on July 13, 2021. The enactment changes Rhode Island’s products liability law and impacts how courts treat a manufacturer’s or seller’s claim that it is not liable due to a subsequent alteration or modification of the product. Continue reading

This entry was posted in Comparative-Contributory Negligence, Products Liability, Rhode Island and tagged , , .
Recall Alert

Real Flame Recalls Arroyo and Hideaway Wood Burning Fire Pits 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 15, 2021, the CPSC announced the following recall related to a product that presents a fire hazard:

Real Flame Recalls Arroyo and Hideaway Wood Burning Fire Pits Due to Fire Hazard; Sold Exclusively at Crate and Barrel (Recall Alert).

According to the CPSC, “[w]ood stored under the unit can ignite, posing a fire hazard.”

This entry was posted in CPSC Recalls, Products Liability and tagged .
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Florida Court Gives Parties Assigned a Subrogation Claim a Math Lesson


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Although the focus of most subrogation cases is usually on proving liability, determining the appropriate measure of damages is just as important. Sometimes turning on a nuanced argument for recoverability, an adverse holding can significantly boost or reduce the total damages in a case. The Court of Appeal of Florida, Fourth District (Court) recently decided such an issue in a case involving subrogation, holding that the defendants owed much more than they originally anticipated. Continue reading

This entry was posted in Damages - Real Property, Florida, Subrogation and tagged , , , .
Product Recall

Echo EGi-2300 Watt Generators Recalled Due to Fire and Burn Hazards


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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 8, 2021, the CPSC announced the following recall related to a product that presents a fire hazard:

ECHO EGi-2300 Watt Generators Recalled Due to Fire and Burn Hazards; Manufactured by TTI (Recall Alert).

According to the CPSC, “[t]he unit can overheat, posing fire and burn hazards to consumers.”

This entry was posted in CPSC Recalls, Products Liability and tagged .
Fire

An Insured In-Part: Michigan Court Holds That Tenant Is an Implied Co-Insured on Landlord’s Property Insurance Only With Respect to the Leased Premises


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In Westfield Inc. Co. v. Ritcher, No. 20-CV-12692, 2021 U.S. Dist. Lexis 94926, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan considered whether a residential tenant was an implied co-insured on the landlord’s insurance policy, and thus shielded from a subrogation claim brought by the landlord’s carrier for fire damage caused by the tenant’s negligence. The court found that the tenant was an implied co-insured on the landlord’s insurance policy, but only with regards to the apartment that the tenant leased. The tenant was not shielded from claims for damage to the rest of the building, the contents of other residents and the landlord’s rental loss income. Continue reading

This entry was posted in Anti-Subrogation Rule, Landlord-Tenant, Michigan, Subrogation, Sutton Doctrine and tagged , , , .
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Amazon Avoids Liability (Again) for Defective Products Sold by Third Parties Through Its Website


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On June 25, 2021, the Texas Supreme Court held that Amazon cannot be liable for defective third-party products sold on its website, even when Amazon controls the transaction and delivery of the product, because Amazon never relinquishes or holds title to the products. This opinion should result in the reversal of a prior decision by the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas – which found that Amazon was a “seller” under Texas law – and causes further division in the jurisdictions in the United States regarding whether Amazon can be held liable for defective third-party products. Continue reading

This entry was posted in Products Liability, Texas and tagged , , .
Product Recall

Cove Appliance Recalls Dishwashers


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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 16, 2021, the CPSC announced the following recall related to a product that presents a fire hazard:

Cove Appliance Recalls Dishwashers Due to Fire Hazard.

According to the CPSC, “[t]he heating element in the dishwasher can fail to properly shut off and can overheat, posing a fire hazard.”

This entry was posted in CPSC Recalls, Products Liability and tagged .

New York Federal Court Determines a Claim Adjuster’s Testimony Is Sufficient To Prove Damages


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In Phila. Indem. Ins. Co., a/s/o Baldwin Real Estate Corp. v. Barker, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 87642 (N.D.N.Y. May 7, 2021), the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York considered whether the plaintiff, Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Company (PIIC), a subrogating insurer, could prove its damages claim through the testimony of its adjuster, without an damages expert. The court held that, where the plaintiff’s damages proof was based on repair costs and the defendant offered no expert of its own related to the diminution in fair market value, the plaintiff could prove its damages using the adjuster’s testimony. Continue reading

This entry was posted in Damages - Real Property, Experts, New York and tagged , , , .

Keep on Truckin’: Indiana Applies MCS-90 Endorsement to Intrastate Trips


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The Court of Appeals of Indiana recently ruled that, in Indiana, Form MCS-90 endorsements on insurance policies apply to purely intrastate trips, including when the vehicle is on the way to pick up cargo but has not yet done so at the time of an incident. Continue reading

This entry was posted in Cargo - Transportation, Indiana and tagged , , .

When an Insurer Proceeds as Subrogee, Defendants Should Not Assert Counterclaims Against the Insured/Subrogor


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In a subrogation action, one party is substituted to the rights and remedies of another with respect to a lawful claim. The substituted party (the subrogee) is legally able to pursue any right or seek any remedy that would be available to the subrogor regarding that claim. But can a defendant in a subrogation action assert any claim against the subrogee that it would have against the subrogor? In Federated Mut. Inc. Co. v. Kosciusko County, No. 3:20-CV-960, 2021 U.S. Dist. Lexis 88735, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana considered whether a defendant could assert counterclaims against the insureds/subrogors in an action filed in the name of their subrogee. The court held that since the insurerds/subrogors were not a party to the action and the defendant could assert the substance of its counterclaim as a defense, the defendant could not file counterclaims against the insureds/subrogors in the insurer’s subrogation action. Continue reading

This entry was posted in Indiana, Litigation, Parties, Subrogation and tagged , , , , .