Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Allstate Vehicle & Property Insurance Company v. Electrolux Home Products, Inc.

United States District Court, N.D. Alabama, Eastern Division

November 27, 2018

ALLSTATE VEHICLE & PROPERTY INSURANCE COMPANY, as subrogee of Allen and Traci Henderson, Plaintiff,
v.
ELECTROLUX HOME PRODUCTS, INC., Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          ANNEMARIE CARNEY AXON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This is a products liability case arising out of a dryer fire at the home of Alan and Traci Henderson. Plaintiff Allstate Vehicle & Property Insurance Company (“Allstate”), as subrogee of the Hendersons, claims that Defendant Electrolux Home Products, Inc. (“Electrolux”) negligently designed, manufactured, and sold the subject dryer. Allstate asserts claims under the Alabama Extended Manufacturers Liability Doctrine (“AEMLD”) and for negligence.

         Pending before the court is Electrolux's motion for partial summary judgment. (Doc. 36). Pursuant to Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Electrolux seeks judgment as a matter of law on Allstate's AEMLD and negligence claims, to the extent the claims allege a failure to warn. For the reasons explained below, the court GRANTS the motion.

         I. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         “The court shall grant summary judgment if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). “The moving party bears the initial burden of demonstrating the absence of a genuine dispute of material fact.” FindWhat Inv'r Grp. v. FindWhat.com, 658 F.3d 1282, 1307 (11th Cir. 2011) (citing Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986)). A “material fact” is one that “might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986).

         To demonstrate that there is a genuine dispute as to a material fact that precludes summary judgment, a party opposing a motion for summary judgment must cite “to particular parts of materials in the record, including depositions, documents, electronically stored information, affidavits or declarations, stipulations (including those made for purposes of the motion only), admissions, interrogatory answers, or other materials.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1)(A); see Anderson, 477 U.S. at 252 (“[A] party opposing a properly supported motion for summary judgment may not rest upon mere allegation or denials of his pleading, but must set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.”).

         The court views the evidence in the light most favorable to the non-moving party. Baas v. Fewless, 886 F.3d 1088, 1091 (11th Cir. 2018). The court “may not weigh conflicting evidence or make credibility determinations of its own.” FindWhat Inv'r Grp., 658 F.3d at 1307. “If the record presents disputed issues of fact, the court may not decide them; rather, it must deny the motion and proceed to trial.” Id.

         II. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

         In July 2007, Plaintiff Allstate's subrogors, Allen and Traci Henderson purchased a new electric clothes dryer manufactured by Defendant Electrolux. (Doc. 36-3 at 17; Doc. 36-4 at 16). Between 2007 and 2014, Mr. Henderson personally installed the dryer at three different residences, the last of which was a home located on Mudd Street in Lincoln, Alabama (“Mudd Street Residence”). (Doc. 36-3 at 17-18, 38).

         Installation and operation manuals accompanying the dryer contained fire warnings as did the dryer itself. For example, the dryer's Installation Instructions state: “If the dryer is not exhausted outdoors, some fine lint will be expelled into the laundry area. An accumulation of lint in any area of the home can create a health and fire hazard. The dryer MUST be exhausted to the outside of the dwelling!” (Doc. 36-6 at 7) (emphasis in original). The Installation Instructions also state:

Do not screen the exhaust ends of the vent system, nor use any screws or rivets to assemble the exhaust system. Lint can become caught in the screen, on the screws or rivets, clogging the duct work and creating a fire hazard as well as increased drying times. Use an approved vent hood to terminate the duct outdoors, and seal all joints with duct tape.

(Doc. 36-6 at 7) (emphasis in original). The Installation Instructions go on to provide: “The exhaust system should be inspected and cleaned a minimum of every 18 months with normal usage. The more the dryer is used, the more often you should check the exhaust system and vent hood for proper operation.” (Doc. 36-6 at 7) (emphasis in original).

         The dryer's Use & Care Guide states:

Prevent Fire … Clean the lint screen before or after each load. The interior of the dryer, lint screen housing and exhaust duct should be cleaned approximately every 18 months by qualified service personnel. An excessive amount of lint build-up in these areas could result in inefficient drying and possible fire. . . . Failure to comply with these warnings could result in fire, ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.