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February 2021

Product Manufacturing Company Wins Summary Judgment

Attorneys Ed Taylor and Katie Van Camp represented the manufacturer of a chair lift used to assist individuals in and out of swimming pools. The manufacturer sold a chair lift to a local casino in 2012. Subsequently, in 2016, the Plaintiff was using the chair at the casino’s swimming pool when he claims it broke causing him to strike the side of the pool and allegedly suffer personal injuries. Plaintiff then filed a complaint seeking damages for personal injuries against the casino asserting a premises liability claim. The Plaintiff also asserted a product liability claim against the product manufacturer alleging that the lift chair was a defective product.

The Plaintiff did not designate an expert to testify that the chair lift was a defective product. Accordingly, the manufacturer moved for summary judgment asserting there was no expert testimony that the product was negligently designed or did not otherwise meet certain specifications, which is required by Miss. Code Ann. § 11-1-63, the Mississippi Products Liability Act. The Plaintiff opposed the motion asserting that an expert was not required under the circumstances of this case. The County Court of Hancock County granted the summary judgment motion finding that, without expert testimony, there was no issue as to a material fact that the subject lift chair was defective.