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.

Hinton v. Sunbeam Products, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

January 15, 2020

ALECIA HINTON, f/k/a Alecia Kees, individually and for the heirs and next of kin of Jaidyn Grace Andrus; and SCOTT ANDRUS, individually, Plaintiffs,
v.
SUNBEAM PRODUCTS, INC., d/b/a Jarden Consumer Solutions, Defendant.

          JOSEPH M. SAYLER AND DAVID M. BOLT, BOLT HOFFER BOYD LAW FIRM, FOR PLAINTIFFS.

          DAVID J. O'CONNELL, GOLDBERG SEGALLA LLP; GEORGE W. SOULE, SOULE & STULL LLC, FOR DEFENDANT.

          ORDER

          PATRICK J. SCHILTZ UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This products-liability action arises out of the death of the five-year-old daughter of plaintiffs Alecia Hinton and Scott Andrus. The child died after a humidifier caught fire in her bedroom. The humidifier was manufactured by defendant Sunbeam Products, Inc. (“Sunbeam”).

         This matter is before the Court on the parties' cross-motions for partial summary judgment. The Court held a hearing on the motions on January 10, 2020. For the reasons stated on the record at the hearing, the Court denies plaintiffs' motion and denies Sunbeam's motion as to plaintiffs' claim for negligent infliction of emotional distress. The only remaining issue is whether Sunbeam is entitled to summary judgment on plaintiffs' claim for post-sale negligent failure to warn.[1] For the reasons that follow, the Court denies Sunbeam's motion as to that claim.

         In Great Northern Insurance Company v. Honeywell International, Inc., the Minnesota Supreme Court adopted § 10 of the Restatement (Third) of Torts: Products Liability, under which a seller has a post-sale duty to warn if:

(1) the seller knows or reasonably should know that the product poses a substantial risk of harm to persons or property; and
(2) those to whom a warning might be provided can be identified and can reasonably be assumed to be unaware of the risk of harm; and
(3) a warning can be effectively communicated to and acted on by those to whom a warning might be provided; and
(4) the risk of harm is sufficiently great to justify the burden of providing a warning.

911 N.W.2d 510, 520 (Minn. 2018). Plaintiffs bear the burden of establishing each of these factors. Id.

         Sunbeam argues that plaintiffs cannot establish the second and third factors because they cannot prove that Sunbeam could identify and effectively communicate a warning to consumers who purchased its humidifiers. The Court disagrees.

         Plaintiffs have submitted evidence that Alecia Hinton purchased the humidifier in 2010 or 2011 and that, at the time of purchase, she filled out a product-registration card and sent it to Sunbeam. Hinton Dep. 49-50; Hinton Decl. ¶ 1. The card asked for detailed information, including the model number of the product and the customer's name, address, and email address. Sayler Decl. Ex. L at 2. The address that Hinton provided is the same residence where the fire eventually occurred. Hinton Decl. ¶ 1.

         It is undisputed that Sunbeam does not currently possess any information about Hinton or Andrus in its customer database. Nerkizian Aff. ¶ 9. The exemplar registration card in the record, however, states that Sunbeam retains customer information in its files “for up to five years.” Sayler Decl. Ex. L at 1. If in fact Sunbeam has a five-year retention policy, a jury could find that Sunbeam had plaintiffs' contact information during at least part of the time when a warning could have been provided, [2]even though Sunbeam does not have that information now. Sunbeam argues that its current database includes customer information submitted as far back as ...


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.