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JUDGMENT Product Liability – Defective speed control switch removed as part of recall three years earlier allegedly results in fire, because of fluid that leaked from defective part before replacement

U.S. District - Southern County, FL

In this case, the plaintiffs husband/wife contended that the defendant’s car maintained a defective speed control device, and although the part had been replaced in conjunction with a recall several years earlier, the plaintiff supported that the fluid that leaked from the part and accumulated in wiring in the electrical system, ultimately causing the fire while the car was in a car port underneath the water front home in Key Largo. The defendant maintained that, although fluid from prior to the replacement could accumulate, there was no proof that the fire started as a result, or that the fire started in the car. The defendant argued that the plaintiff’s expert’s conclusions were "unreliable, based on speculation unsupported by the evidence," and that the defendant automobile manufacturer’s motion for Summary Judgment should be granted. The plaintiff also argued that under Cassisi v Maytag Co., ________ So. 2d 1 ________ (Fla. 1st DCA ________), the defect and cause should be inferred from evidence that the product malfunctioned during normal operation. The plaintiff countered that at the time of the fire, the car was eight-years-old, and had been driven more than ________ miles, arguing that there was no basis for such an inference. The plaintiff wife suffered smoke inhalation that required hospitalization, and the plaintiff husband suffered temporary burns to the soles of his feet. Both plaintiffs maintained that they sustained PTSD, which caused long-term symptoms.The plaintiff also made a claim for extensive personal property loss.The court granted the defendant’s motion for Summary Judgment.

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