December 14, 2006
Eighth Circuit Rules Fire Case Can Proceed to Trial on Res Ipsa-Type Theory
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit yesterday reversed a summary judgment for the defendants in a suit against the manufacturer and seller of a motorized wheelchair. The district court's ruling was based on the conclusion that plaintiff's expert was not qualified to testify as to the specific defect in the product because he was not an expert in the engineering or manufacturing of motorized chairs. The Court of Appeals ruled, however, that the expert was a certified fire investigator who could testify as to the likely point of origin of the fire in plaintiff's house and who, based on his investigation which had eliminated other possible sources of fire, could draw an inference as to the cause of the fire. Under the applicable Missouri law, this and other circumstantial evidence offered by the plaintiff was enough so that a jury could infer a defect in the product. Hickerson v. Pride Mobility Products Corp., 2006 WL 3614324.
December 14, 2006 | Permalink
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