News Brief

Bashor, Lai, and Tatarka Secure Summary Judgment and Dismissal in Phone Explosion case

January 24, 2023

Karen L. Bashor (Partner-Las Vegas) , I-Che Lai (Associate-Las Vegas) and Gregg Tatarka (Partner-White Plains) prevailed on a motion for summary judgment in United States District Court, District of Nevada on behalf of a global electronics company where the Plaintiff alleged that a cell phone exploded in his hand, causing burns and requiring surgery. Plaintiff filed suit and demanded millions, asserting causes of action for strict products liability, negligence and breach of an implied warranty claim. Karen aggressively and extensively deposed both Plaintiff and Plaintiff’s expert in this matter. I-Che prepared a detailed brief with additional affidavits in support of Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment with the assistance of Gregg. Based on the deposition testimony of the Plaintiff, Plaintiff’s experts, and filed briefs, the Court granted Defendant’s motion. In summary, the Court agreed that Plaintiff’s case hinged on their expert. While the Court found the expert qualified given his extensive experience as an engineer, the Court deemed his opinions unreliable, particularly his failure to explain the methodology he employed to determine the manufacturing defect existed when the phone left Defendant’s possession, including a failure to rule out tampering. The Court further determined that Plaintiff’s negligence claim suffered from the same deficiency as, and was subsumed by, his strict product liability claim. Moreover, the Court noted Plaintiff failed to provide evidence that horizontal privity exists between him and defendant. Accordingly, the Court granted Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment with respect to Plaintiff’s breach of implied warranty claim as well.

View more News Briefs