News Brief

Melcher, Johnson, Goodwin and Manchisi Prevail on Plaintiff’s Responsibility to Read Product Warnings

May 13, 2019

Jeffrey Melcher (RMP-Atlanta), Tawana Johnson (Of Counsel-Atlanta), Ernie Goodwin (Partner-White Plains), Frank Manchisi (Partner-White Plains) won summary judgment in favor of a manufacturer of plumbing supplies in a products liability matter in the Middle District of Georgia. Our client manufactured a gauge guard that included a small fluoropolymer membrane inside a CPVC body. The plaintiff construction company ran the highest concentration of hydrochloric acid available through the gauge guard for four years, until the device failed, allowing the acid to escape. The machine and the building where it was housed and its entire contents were destroyed. Plaintiff sought $1.7 million in damages, arguing that the contents of the warning were insufficient because there was no warning concerning permeability of the membrane. However, none of plaintiff’s employees knew that the device had been installed on the machine, and none had read any of the instructions, warnings, or other literature from our client regarding the gauge guard. The court held that the plaintiff’s failure to read the warnings included with the gauge guard bars any claim for failure to warn. Following entry of summary judgment, Melcher, Johnson, Goodwin and Manchisi successfully recovered more than $8,000 in costs.

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