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Won Summary Judgment in Wrongful Death Products Liability Matter

A Hodgson Russ team led by Benjamin M. Zuffranieri, Jr., Ryan J. Lucinski, and Patrick J. Hines successfully won summary judgment in a products liability action venued in Houston, Texas state court. Their client was a publicly-traded company that manufactured high-density lithium thionyl chloride batteries used to power subterranean drilling equipment. The decedent and his employer had misused the product by overheating it, causing an explosive vent of the battery. The decedent’s estate claimed that the client’s product was defective because it failed to adequately warn of the dangers associated with overheating the product. The Hodgson Russ team successfully argued that the client’s product was a component part of a larger product designed and built by others, and that the client appropriately fulfilled its duty to warn intermediaries who incorporate the client’s product into their own products. The estate’s case against the client was dismissed in its entirety. At trial, the jury returned a verdict against the remaining defendants in excess of $25 million.