Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Dagoberto Gonzales was involved in a rollover accident while driving a garbage truck manufactured by Crane Carrier Co. He suffered head injures, a broken collar bone, and a fractured spine; he brought suit against Crane and Patrick Athey, the driver of another vehicle involved in the accident, for damages resulting from those injuries. Crane then brought third-party actions against component-part manufacturers Bostrom Seating, Inc., the manufacturer of the driver’s seat used in the garbage truck, and Beams Industries, Inc., the manufacturer of the driver’s side seat belt, seeking statutory and common-law indemnification. Crane did not seek contribution. The trial court granted a directed verdict for Bostrom and Beams on the issue of indemnity. Because the jury failed to reach a verdict on the claims against Crane and Athey, the trial court declared a mistrial, and it then granted Bostrom’s motion for severance. Crane appealed the trial court’s directed verdict in favor of Bostrom, arguing that an indemnity action exists for a manufacturer against a component-part manufacturer under both the statute and common law. Crane also argued that legally sufficient evidence was presented at trial to support a finding that Bostrom could be held responsible for defectively designing the seat used in the garbage truck. The court of appeals agreed, holding that the trial court improperly directed the verdict in favor of Bostrom on the issues of both common-law and statutory indemnity. HOLDING:Reversed and rendered. It is not proper to extend the doctrine of strict liability to the supplier of a component part used in a product according to the design of the product’s manufacturer when the injuries are caused by the design of the product itself, rather than by a defect in the component. Therefore, if no evidence exists to indicate that the component part was itself defective, the component-part manufacturer should be relieved of any liability for a design or manufacturing defect in the final product, including any action for indemnification. The parties agree that Crane designed the garbage truck and chose which seat it would use. None of the evidence cited by Crane could be used to prove that the Bostrom seat, in and of itself, was defective. Even Crane’s own attorney, in his opening statement, admitted that “there isn’t anything wrong with the seat.” At best, the evidence supports a possible conclusion that using the seat in this specific truck created an allegedly defective restraint system design. Crane was in total control of the design of that system, and Bostrom, playing no part in the design of the truck, cannot be held liable for its possible defectiveness. Because no evidence was presented to suggest that the Bostrom seat was itself defective, the court holds that Crane cannot obtain indemnification from Bostrom. OPINION:Schneider, J., delivered the court’s opinion.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Benefits of a Digital Membership:

  • Free access to 3 articles* every 30 days
  • Access to the entire ALM network of websites
  • Unlimited access to the ALM suite of newsletters
  • Build custom alerts on any search topic of your choosing
  • Search by a wide range of topics

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?


ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2020 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.