SW Legal Educational Publishing

Seller of Defective Product May Be Liable for Injuries Consumer Suffered When Using Alternative Product
Description Trial court refused to grant summary judgment for seller of a mobile home that contained a defective hot water tank that the seller failed to fix. The buyer injured herself when boiling water for bathing because of the defective water heater. Possible liability of the seller would be determined at trial.
Topic Torts
Key Words Negligence; Proximate Cause
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts LaFrance bought a new mobile home from AAA Homes. The hot water heater did not work. Numerous complaints were made to AAA about this and other defects, but nothing was done. LaFrance boiled water for bathing while waiting months in hopes of repairs. Once, when carrying a pot of boiling water, she fell and was burned by the water. She sued AAA for gross negligence that caused her injuries. AAA moved for summary judgment, arguing that plaintiff did not show proximate cause and that the plaintiff's negligence was a superseding cause of the injury.
Decision Motion denied. "Under these facts, the Court cannot find, as a matter of law, that the acts of the plaintiff superseded the alleged negligence of the defendant." The defendant's claim that, even if it had a duty to repair the water heater, that duty did not extend to cover the injuries because the injuries were not foreseeable is an issue to be resolved at trial as determination of the duty will turn on the specific circumstances of the case; it cannot be resolved as a matter of law.
Citation LaFrance v. C.S.F.&T., Inc., 1999 WL 1009825 (Slip Copy, E.D. La.)

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