Corr Cronin Obtains Trial Victory in Product Liability Action
partner Emily Harris
obtained a defense verdict on behalf of her clients, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates and Saint-Gobain Containers, Inc. on product liability claims. Plaintiffs sought more than $900,000 in damages for lacerations caused when opening a wine bottle that broke. Product liability claims for failure to warn and breach of warranties were dismissed on summary judgment, leaving a construction defect claim for trial. Following a 3-½ week trial, the court found in favor of defendants (wine bottle maker and vintner) on liability and made no award of damages to plaintiff.
The court's decision rested on its evaluation of the parties' expert testimony. The court rejected the testimony of plaintiffs' experts but accepted the testimony of the defendants' experts regarding how the wine bottle fractured and what caused it to do so (improper use of a corkscrew), resulting in injuries to the injured plaintiff.