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The seller of a product that causes injury to an employee cannot maintain a third-party complaint for indemnification against the employer where the contract between the seller and the employer does not provide for indemnification for negligence and the only claims filed against the seller by the employee were for negligence. Baker v. Wayne-Dalton Corp, Civil Action No. 02-1772, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Jan. 19, 2004.

Keith Baker was injured while operating a press in the course of his employment by Allstar. Baker sued each company believed to be involved in the design and manufacture of the press and its component parts. After motion practice, one of the two final defendants was Wayne-Dalton, which sold the press to Allstar. Wayne-Dalton filed a third- party complaint against Allstar, claiming that Allstar was contractually obligated to indemnify Wayne-Dalton against Baker’s claims. The district court dismissed the third-party complaint. It held that the contract between Wayne-Dalton and Allstar did not contemplate negligence claims. Although the contract provided for indemnification in certain circumstances, negligence was not among them. Because Baker only filed negligence claims against Wayne-Dalton, the third-party complaint could not be maintained.

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