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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:On January 21, 2000, Kathy Burden, a dental hygienist, and members of her family filed a products liability action in Texas state court, naming as defendants the present appellants, appellees and more than 30 other entities. The plaintiffs alleged that Burden was injured by latex gloves manufactured and sold by the named defendants. Appellants Owens & Minor, Inc. and Owens & Minor Medical, Inc. (collectively, “Owens & Minor”) were sued as a distributor. Appellees Ansell Healthcare Products Inc. (Ansell) and Becton, Dickinson and Company (BD) were sued as manufacturers of the allegedly defective gloves. On March 6, 2000, Owens & Minor sent letters to several of the defendant manufacturers requesting that those manufacturers indemnify Owens & Minor pursuant to Texas Civil Practice & Remedies �82.002, which requires a manufacturer to “indemnify and hold harmless a seller against loss arising out of a products liability action” excepting losses proven to have been caused by the seller. For reasons that are disputed by the parties, Owens & Minor was ultimately defended by its own outside counsel. The case was removed to the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas on May 3, 2000. It was subsequently transferred to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania as part of the multidistrict litigation, In Re: Latex Glove Products Liability Litigation. At some point during the proceedings, Owens & Minor filed cross-claims for indemnity against several manufacturers in the case. Eventually, the plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed their claims against Owens & Minor, because they were unable to show that Owens & Minor had sold any of the latex gloves that allegedly injured Burden. All other defendants were dismissed for the same or similar reasons. There was never a finding that any party was negligent or caused the plaintiffs’ alleged injuries. However, when the instant case was remanded to the Southern District of Texas once the multidistrict litigation proceedings were complete, Owens & Minor pursued the cross-claims for indemnity that it had brought against four of the manufacturers, seeking to recover the costs it had incurred in Burden. Owens & Minor subsequently settled with two of the manufacturers, leaving claims for indemnity against only Ansell and BD. In response to Owens & Minor’s cross-claim, BD and Ansell both moved for summary judgment on the adequacy of their offers to indemnify Owens & Minor. BD argued that it properly had offered to defend and indemnify Owens & Minor for claims arising out of the sale of BD latex gloves. Likewise, Ansell maintained that it appropriately had offered to defend and indemnify Owens & Minor for claims related to Owens & Minor’s alleged sale of Ansell latex gloves. Owens & Minor claimed that the offers made by Ansell and BD were for a “partial limited defense” with conditions, rather than the sort of full defense and indemnity allegedly required by �82.002. The district court rejected many of the arguments presented by the manufacturers, yet ultimately granted BD’s and Ansell’s motions for summary judgment, holding that both manufacturers had offered to defend and indemnify Owens & Minor to the satisfaction of their duties to Owens & Minor under �82.002. In so doing, the district court terminated the entire case. Owens & Minor brings this appeal HOLDING:The court certifies a question to the Texas Supreme Court. Neither the plain language of the statute nor the legislative intent indicate the scope of the indemnification and defense required by �82.002 in a situation in which it is undisputed that the seller sold products made by the several manufacturers sued, yet the seller has sought indemnification from less than all of those manufacturers. The 5th Circuit notes that an answer to this central issue is necessary before it can proceed in resolving the remaining issues in this case regarding whether the district court improperly resolved disputed factual issues in favor of the moving parties. The court certifies the following question: “When a distributor sued in a products liability action seeks indemnification from less than all of the manufacturers implicated in the case, does a manufacturer fulfill its obligation under Texas Civil Practice and Remedies �82.002 by offering indemnification and defense for only the portion of the distributor’s defense concerning the sale or alleged sale of that specific manufacturer’s product, or must the manufacturer indemnify and defend the distributor against all claims and then seek contribution from the remaining manufacturers.” OPINION:Dennis, J.; Higginbotham, Wiener and Dennis, JJ.

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