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Summary Judgment Obtained for Electric Match Manufacturer in Product Liability Case

BSCR obtained summary judgment on behalf of an electric match manufacturer, in three related product liability cases. The cases arose out of a 2005 explosion at a fireworks plant in Crestline, Kansas.  The explosion occurred while pyrotechnic products were being transferred from a storage bunker to a trailer bound for a fireworks display in St. Louis, Missouri. Plaintiffs claimed their decedents sustained severe injuries and death from burns sustained in the explosion.  In addition to the entities responsible for the storage, loading and transport of the pyrotechnic products, the plaintiffs filed suit against four electric match manufacturers, including our client.  Plaintiffs alleged that the electric matches were unreasonably sensitive, unshrouded, thermally unstable and insufficiently secured such that significant movement could occur thereby causing the explosion.  Plaintiffs sought damages related to the wrongful death of their decedents and punitive damages.  BSCR successfully argued plaintiffs could not establish product identification because they could not prove which pyrotechnic product was the source of the explosion.  Plaintiffs' argued for the adoption of §433B(3) of The Restatement (Second) of Torts, which recognizes an alternative liability theory that shifts the burden of causation to the defendants in cases where multiple defendants have acted tortiously.  The Court rejected this argument and granted summary judgment in our client's favor. 

Services: Product Liability
Attorneys: Kara T. Stubbs and Angela M. Higgins