Complex Litigation

December 13, 2016

In Stevens v. Good Tire Service, Inc. et al., Scott Toomey, Dan Kain and Steve Park obtained dismissal for Kumho Tire Co., Inc. (“KTCI”).  KTCI argued in its briefing and at oral argument that no KTCI contact within the Commonwealth gave rise to the cause of action.  KTCI also argued that it lacks affiliations within Pennsylvania sufficiently continuous and systemic as to render it “at home” in the forum.  In dismissing KTCI with prejudice, the Court found that exercising jurisdiction over KTCI in Pennsylvania would offend traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice. 

October 14, 2016

The litigation arose out of a December 27, 2012 fire in a commercial warehouse located in Patterson, New Jersey.  The combined subrogation and uninsured damages amounted to approximately $1.3 million.  Plaintiffs alleged that Pep Boys performed a negligent radiator replacement service on a Chevy van causing a battery cable to become abraded and short, igniting a fire.  The jury accepted Pep Boy’s evidence that its service was proper, the battery cable was properly routed, and it could not have caused the fire.

July 28, 2016

In Ratcliff v. SPS, Inc., et al., Amanda Kim, Dan Kain and Ian Park obtained dismissal for SPS, Inc.  After reviewing the Motion to Dismiss filed by SPS and Plaintiff’s opposition thereto, the Eastern District of Pennsylvania held that Plaintiff failed to demonstrate that the court can exercise personal jurisdiction over SPS, a South Korean corporation with a principal place of business in Korea.  The court reasoned that Plaintiff provided no allegation or evidence to demonstrate that SPS purposefully availed itself of the Pennsylvania marketplace.    

April 26, 2016

The Saratoga County Supreme Court granted summary judgment in an asbestos case dismissing all claims and cross-claims against our client, a national and international distributor of laboratory supplies.  The plaintiff, a 67-year old former chemist, alleged that she developed mesothelioma as a result of her exposure to asbestos-containing laboratory products during the 1970s.  Following the deposition of eight witnesses, including plaintiff’s former co-workers, we moved for summary judgment on the grounds that plaintiff failed to identify the source of the offending products.  Plaintiff opposed the motion, arguing that the presence of the client’s catalogs in plaintiff’s lab was sufficient evidence to establish exposure to the client’s products.  The court dismissed plaintiff’s exposure theory as overly speculative and granted our motion.

January 29, 2016

Scott Toomey, Michael Bai and Daniel Kain won nonsuit (directed verdict) on behalf of Kumho Tire USA, Inc. (“Kumho Tire”) in an Allegheny County, Pennsylvania product liability trial.  In Dolby v. Kumho Tire USA, Inc., et al., Plaintiffs sued Kumho Tire and retreader Ziegler Tire & Rubber Co., asserting that an allegedly defective retreaded tire built on a Kumho brand casing led to the rollover of a fully laden coal truck.  At trial, Plaintiffs pursued only a strict liability failure to warn claim.  Plaintiffs presented expert testimony that the use of retreaded tires on steer axles of heavy trucks was improper due to a supposedly enhanced risk of tire failure.  The expert also testified that he had warned clients to use only new tires on steer axles of heavy trucks.  The expert could not, however, testify that the absence of a warning on the original Kumho brand tire constituted a defect or led to the crash.  After Plaintiffs rested, Kumho Tire moved for nonsuit.  The Court granted Kumho Tire’s motion and dismissed the case.  Mark A. Eck of Meyer Darragh Buckler Bebenek & Eck, PLLC also participated in Kumho Tire’s trial defense.