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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Mike Huddleston and his wife filed a products liability suit against Alamo Lumber Company Inc., Dutton-Lainson and Do It Best Corp. (DIB). Huddleston alleged he was injured when a brake winch handle malfunctioned and injured him. The winch, which was in Huddleston’s constructive possession, was disposed of prior to the suit being filed. Huddleston alleged the winch had been manufactured by Dutton-Lainson. Huddleston further alleged DIB, a distributor of winches, sold the defective winch to his employer, Alamo Lumber. DIB filed a cross-claim against Dutton-Lainson requesting statutory indemnification pursuant to Texas Products Liability Act �82.002. The trial court granted the no evidence motions for summary judgment filed by DIB and Dutton-Lainson as to Huddleston’s products liability claims, thereby dismissing the underlying claims against them. HOLDING:Motion to vacate denied; affirmed. The court determines whether a manufacturer has a statutory duty to indemnify a seller for losses incurred in a products liability action in the absence of proof that the allegedly defective product was produced by that manufacturer. Dutton-Lainson contends the trial court erred in granting DIB’s motion for summary judgment because the trial court misconstrued the requirements of the Texas Products Liability Act. The statute requires manufacturers to indemnify sellers unless the seller directly caused the injury. �82.002(a). Indemnification includes the seller’s fees and costs in enforcing its statutory right.�82.002(b). Additionally, the manufacturer is liable to a seller no matter how the products liability action is resolved, and the statute supplements the seller’s rights under common law or contract. �82.002(e)(2). Thus, the court concludes, the statute deliberately places the duty to indemnify on the manufacturers regardless of how the action is concluded unless a seller is found independently liable. Dutton-Lainson first contends DIB did not establish its right to indemnity as a matter of law because it did not provide competent summary judgment proof that Dutton-Lainson manufactured the winch at issue. Dutton-Lainson further contends that the evidence raised genuine issues of material fact as to whether it was the manufacturer of the winch and whether it was in the chain of distribution. However, applying the language of the statute, the seller is only required to prove that it is a seller who suffered a loss in a products liability action as defined by the statute, and that the defendant qualifies as a statutory manufacturer. The statute does not place an additional burden on the seller to prove the manufacturer was the manufacturer of the product in question or was in the chain of distribution. DIB supported its request for summary judgment with Linker’s affidavit and the plaintiff’s pleadings, which alleged a brake winch manufactured by Dutton-Lainson caused Huddleston’s injuries. Under the statute, DIB was entitled to indemnity as a matter of law. Although Dutton-Lainson complains DIB did not offer proof it sold the defective brake winch to Alamo Lumber, the Texas Supreme Court has already determined that manufacturers are liable to innocent sellers even if the plaintiff has not shown that he bought the product from the seller in question. Fitzgerald v. Advanced Spine Fixation Sys. Inc., 996 S.W.2d 864 (Tex. 1999). OPINION:Stone, J.; Stone, Duncan and Speedlin, JJ.

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