McKenzie v. A. W. Chesterson Co.

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Tort Law
  • Date Filed: 04-20-2016
  • Case #: A145735
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Nakamoto, J. pro tempore, for the Court; Armstrong, P.J.; & Egan, J.

Under ORS 30.920(1) a manufacturer sending products in asbestos-containing packaging has a duty to warn the buyer of the risks of asbestos, even if the manufacturer does not make the packaging.

McKenzie appealed the trial court's grant of summary judgment on her products liability claim. The trial court awarded summary judgment to Defendant because McKenzie failed to show that Defendant manufactured and sold asbestos-containing products. On appeal, McKenzie argued that when her husband served in the Navy, the pumps Defendant sold had not substantially changed since their sale and that Defendant failed to warn about the danger of asbestos in the pumps’ gaskets and packaging. Defendant argued that it sold pumps, but not the gaskets and packaging, asserting the “bare-metal defense.” The Court held that even though Defendant was the manufacturer of only the pumps and not the asbestos-containing gaskets and packaging, the bare-metal defense did not prohibit Plaintiff’s argument that Defendant was liable for failure to warn users of the dangers of the asbestos-containing products with which their pumps came. The Court also held that Plaintiff’s evidence of the asbestos-containing packaging was enough to overcome a summary judgment motion for Defendant. Reversed and remanded.

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