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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Jose Angel Hernandez Gomez was driving a Ford Explorer with Firestone ATX tires in Mexico when he crashed the vehicle and died. Claiming that the crash was caused by the tires’ failure, Gomez’ family sued several parties for products liability, including Progresso Motors, Houston Auto Auction Inc., and Big H Auto Auction. Big H sold the vehicle at auction to HAA, who in turn sold it at another auction to Progresso, where Gomez bought it. The family alleged multiple theories of strict liability and negligence. Big H filed for summary judgment. Big H argued that an auctioneer is not a “seller” and therefore not subject to strict liability. As to the negligence theories of recovery, Big H argued: 1. It was an intermediate seller not subject to liability; 2. It complied with the applicable standard of care; 3. The family did not offer expert testimony about the standard of care; and 4. It had no duty to warn because the defects were obvious to the ordinary consumer. The trial court granted Big H’s motion for summary judgment. HOLDING:Reversed and remanded. The court confirms the three elements for a strict products liability claim: 1. The defendant placed a product in the stream of commerce; 2. That such product was in a defective or unreasonably dangerous condition; and 3. There was a causal connection between such condition and the plaintiff’s injuries or damages. The court emphasizes that Texas law does not require the defendant to actually sell the product at issue, but instead requires only that the defendant be responsible for putting the product into the stream of commerce. The court thus holds that Big H’s attempt to remove itself from liability on the ground that it is not a “seller” still does not disprove the first element of a strict products liability claim. Big H still needs to prove that it did not introduce the Ford Explorer into the stream of commerce. The trial court erred in granting summary judgment on this ground. As to the first of Big H’s arguments of why it was not subject to liability under negligence theories, the court finds that Big H did not provide any summary judgment evidence supporting its contention that intermediate sellers do not have a duty to sell non-defective products. Because Big H did not conclusively disprove the negligence element of duty, summary judgment on this ground was improper, too. As to Big H’s supposed compliance with the applicable standard of care, the court notes that an affidavit filed by Big H’s office manager does not indicate what representation the company Big H bought the vehicle from made to Big H. Nor does she state whether Big H then satisfied its own standard of care by correctly relaying that company’s representations to the buyer Big H sold the vehicle to. Because Big H did not conclusively disprove the element of breach of duty, summary judgment on this ground was improper. As to the expert testimony about the standard of care, the court holds that the standard of care for a used car auction house is not so complex as to require testimony from an expert to fully explain and develop it. A used car auction is not outside the common experience and understanding of the average layman. Because expert testimony was not necessary, the trial court erred in granting summary judgment on this ground. As to the duty to warn, the court, the notes that Big H did not introduce evidence that ordinary consumers knew about the recall of Firestone ATX tires. Because Big H did not conclusively disprove the element of duty, summary judgment on this ground was improper. OPINION:Rodriguez, J.; Valdez, C.J., Hinojosa and Rodriguez, JJ.

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