In Briscoe, the plaintiff was hurt by a 3rd party who battered she by spraying corrosive drain cleaner in her face.

Summary of this instance from James v. Meow Media, Inc.

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No. 1998-CA-001289-MR.

Rendered: February 18, 2000. Discretionary testimonial Denied by can be fried Court august 16, 2000. Released because that Publication: august 25, 2000

Appeal indigenous Jefferson Circuit Court, Honorable cutting board Knopf, Judge, action No. 97-CI-00934.


Teddy B. Gordon, Henry K. Jarrett III, Louisville, Kentucky, for Appellant.

Armer H. Mahan, Jr., Petersen S. Thomas, Louisville, Kentucky, for Appellee remarkable Products.

william P. Swain, william B. Orberson, Louisville, Kentucky, because that Appellee Ace Hardware Rent-It-Center.



Dominique Briscoe appeals the an introduction dismissal the his commodities liability action against the manufacturer and also distributor that a product recognized as "Liquid Fire" i beg your pardon was deliberately thrown in his direction by a youth attempting to damaged his sister. In giving the motion of the manufacturer and also distributor, the attempt court reasoned the it was difficult for appellant come prevail at trial since his injuries to be the result of one unforeseeable, superseding reason precluding, as a issue of law, a recognize of legal responsibility on the component of the manufacturer and distributor. Us agree and also affirm.

top top July 13, 1995, Joyce Brown, that was sixteen years old in ~ the time, purchased native Ace Hardware a one-pint container of fluid Fire, a drainpipe cleaner manufactured and distributed through appellee, impressive Products. Later on that evening, Brown placed around one-half that the liquid Fire in a plastic container and took it v her once she visited the home of Helena Briscoe to confront her around an incident concerning Briscoe and also her boyfriend. A physics altercation ensued and also Helena"s brother, the appellant Dominique Briscoe, came onto the porch and also struck Brown. She climate picked up the container of fluid Fire and threw the in the direction that the door wherein Helena and also Dominique to be standing. Back Brown testified she to plan to harm only Helena, most of the liquid struck Dominique. Brown was consequently arrested and also pled guilty to first-degree assault, second-degree assault and criminal mischief.

Dominique thereafter instituted this action against impressive Products and also Ace Hardware seeking damages for the comprehensive injuries he experienced in the attack by Joyce Brown.

His complaint against Amazing assets alleged: (1) that Liquid Fire is an naturally dangerous product; (2) the Amazing assets failed to administer adequate warnings the the severity that the injuries the product would cause when carried into contact with a person"s skin; (3) that it fail to administer adequate warnings as to the ideal use of liquid Fire; and also (4) that by placing an inherently dangerous product into the stream of commerce, Amazing commodities is strictly liable for the injuries liquid Fire led to Dominique Briscoe. Because that his claims against Ace Hardware, Dominique alleged that it negligently provided Liquid Fire to a minor without giving warnings regarding the dangerous propensities that the product or as to its proper use. In dismissing the complaint, the trial court finish that amazing Products and also Ace Hardware can not have reasonably foreseen or intended that the product would be supplied in a criminal attack and also that the criminal conduct of Joyce Brown to be an unforeseeable superseding cause of Dominique"s injuries. We uncover no error in the determination.

Appellant"s sole argument in this very nice one is, the under the evaluation required by modern-day tort law, Joyce Brown"s criminal conduct was foreseeable through appellees, and also therefore, did no constitute a superseding reason of such an particularly nature as to absolve them from liability for his injuries. Us disagree.

A long line that Kentucky situations makes clear that a superseding reason is "an act of a 3rd person or other force which by its intervention avoids the actor from gift liable for harm to an additional which his antecedent negligence is a comprehensive factor in pass about." A superseding cause is a element of together extraordinary, unforeseeable nature as to relieve the initial wrongdoer of liability to the ultimate victim. Choose the attempt court, we are persuaded that Joyce Brown"s intentional criminal conduct falls exactly in this category.

Restatement (Second) the Torts § 440 (1965); Donegan v. Denney, Ky., 457 S.W.2d 953, 958 (1970).

First, as to foreseeability, we uncover the evaluation and reason of the court in Sturm, Ruger Company, Inc. V. Bloyd, rejecting a comparable claim against the manufacturer that a revolver, to be dispositive. In Sturm, the Kentucky can be fried Court break up the manufacturer could not be held liable for damages incurred by a automobile wash employee once a customer"s invited revolver, v the hammer resting on live ammunition and without the safety and security engaged, discharged after falling out of the customer"s car and also striking the concrete floor. The Sturm court available the adhering to rationale for its decision:

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back a gun is naturally dangerous, that does no necessarily follow that a manufacturer is responsible in damages to each human injured or killed by the use

the the weapon. . . . A gun, although naturally dangerous, does not come in ~ the group of those substances or chattels which, by their very nature, space not only naturally dangerous but unsafe for general use. To be Ruger required to anticipate that the revolver would be lugged under the floor mat that an auto with all six chambers loaded and the hammer resting on live ammunition? us think not. The is compelled of Ruger come anticipate reasonable use; that use being in maintaining with the written warning. The attention propensity that the revolver to be a condition rather than a cause.

. . . Neither the manufacturing nor the design was a comprehensive factor in resulting in Bloyd"s injury. Regardless of the style or production of the revolver, the use to which that was placed was the firm that brought about the injury complained of. The manufacturer had actually no control over the gun. It to be under the sole and exclusive manage of Price, and also his conduct in the handling of the revolver, as shown by the proof, was the considerable factor which resulted in the injury. (Emphasis added).

The principles at work-related in Sturm would use with even greater force where, as here, the intervening reason was an knowingly criminal act. We room firmly encouraged that appellees to be not compelled to anticipate that Ms. Brown would pick Liquid Fire as the weapon through which she would certainly intentionally harm appellant. While that is not discussed that fluid Fire is a danger product, when used as intended and also in keeping with its plainly displayed warnings, the is no much more unsafe for general use 보다 guns, knives, baseball bats, and other assets which, once intentionally misused, have actually caused injury or death. Furthermore, the reality Liquid Fire has actually been provided in previous strikes does not change this an outcome any more than would certainly the well-known truth that guns, kitchen knives and baseball bats have actually been offered to intentionally injure people.

regarding the adequacy the the warning, we room admittedly at a loss regarding what the manufacturer or distributor might have done to deter such conduct. Brown stated in her deposition that she was completely aware that the danger associated in using the product in the way she intended, that friends begged her not to use the product as a weapon, and that discovering all this, she purposefully selected the product together the means for extracting revenge on appellant"s sister. In our view, there is merely no manufacturer"s warning which can prevent this form of knowingly conduct.