Judge grants summary judgment to Techtronic Industries in case over alleged saw injuries

By Chandra Lye | Feb 15, 2019

SAN FRANCISCO – A district court judge has vacated an early judgment and issued a new one against two individuals who filed a negligence complaint against Techtronic Industries North over injuries alleged caused by a saw.

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California Judge William H. Orrick vacated an early judgment and granted summary judgment against plaintiffs William Jeff Holley and Phillip Calvin on both negligence and loss of consortium complaints due to lack of evidence.

"Because there are no material facts in dispute that would allow Holley to succeed in his negligence claim against Techtronic, defendants’ motion for summary judgment as to Holley’s negligence claim is granted. As a result, Calvin’s loss of consortium claim fails as well," Orrick wrote.

Summary judgment previously had been granted against the plaintiffs in December 2018 “because Holley was unable to create a material issue of fact that, at the time the saw that injured him left the control of defendant Techtronic Industries North America Inc., the saw had the defect that caused Holley’s injury,” according to the court decision.

“I granted summary judgment on Holley’s strict liability manufacturing defect claim in favor of Techtronic because a reasonable jury could not find by a preponderance of the evidence that the saw was in the same condition when Holley purchased it from the person from whom he bought it as when it left the factory,” Orrick wrote in the Feb. 4 court decision

The problem came down to the fact that Holley bought the saw from an unknown individual from a storage unit near a grocery store where he had been shopping.

“He cannot show when the saw was originally purchased, where it was purchased, or how it was maintained between the time it was purchased and when Holley bought it,” the court decision stated. 

However, the December judgment failed to address other complaints the plaintiffs had. 

“Plaintiffs move to alter or amend the judgment because, notwithstanding the order, Holley’s negligent manufacture claim and Calvin’s loss of consortium claim survive,” the court decision noted. 

“Holley’s negligence claim fails for the same reasons as the product liability claim. As a result, there is no liability cause of action to support the consortium cause of action. To the extent that the negligence cause of action survived the order, I correct that mistake and now grant summary judgment in favor of defendants on the negligence and consortium causes of action,” Orrick wrote.

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