Eighth Circuit Affirms Victory for Omega Flex, Inc. in Products Liability Action

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit unanimously affirmed a defense verdict in favor of Lewis Rice client Omega Flex, Inc. in a case involving allegations by an insurer that Omega Flex's gas piping product was defective and caused a house fire following an indirect lightning strike.

In 2011, American Automobile Insurance Company (AAIC) sued Omega Flex in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri on theories of negligence, products liability, and breach of warranty. AAIC alleged that corrugated stainless steel tubing (CSST) manufactured by Omega Flex for use in residential gas transportation systems was defectively designed and was too thin to withstand energy from an indirect lightning strike that occurred near AAIC's insured's property and resulted in a house fire.

Prior to trial, the District Court granted Omega Flex's motion to exclude certain opinions proffered by AAIC's expert relating to CSST's design, and entered summary judgment in favor of Omega Flex on AAIC's claims for breach of warranty and failure to warn. Following a four-day trial, a jury returned a verdict in favor of Omega Flex, finding that Omega Flex did not fail to use ordinary care in designing the CSST, or otherwise sell the CSST in an unreasonably dangerous or defective condition. Lewis Rice attorneys Thomas P. Berra, Jr., Neal F. Perryman, Oliver H. Thomas, and Edward T. Pivin were part of a trial team led by William J. Conroy and Lynne O'Brien Ingram of the Pennsylvania-based law firm of Campbell Campbell Edwards & Conroy, P.C.

Following the District Court's denial of its motion for a new trial, AAIC filed its appeal with the Eighth Circuit, arguing that the District Court's exclusion of its expert's opinions on design, coupled with its admission of testimony from Omega Flex's expert, constituted a clear and prejudicial abuse of discretion. The Eighth Circuit disagreed, and affirmed the District Court's rulings under Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharm., Inc., 509 U.S. 579 (1993). See Am. Auto. Ins. Co. v. Omega Flex, Inc., No. 14-1783, 2015 WL 1653209 (8th Cir. Apr. 15, 2015). Lewis Rice attorney Neal Perryman successfully argued the matter before the Eighth Circuit.

Firm Highlights
Client Alert

Supreme Court Limits Ability to Compel Access to Private Property Without Compensation

More
Client Alert

Missouri Supreme Court Reverses Overtime Wages Judgment Resulting from Employer-Mandated Screenings Under the Portal-to-Portal Act

More
Diversity & Inclusion

Lewis Rice Launches “Next Level” Diversity and Inclusion Programs

More
Client Alert

Colorado Joins the Bandwagon, Enacts Comprehensive Privacy Law

More
Client Alert

EEOC Issues Updated Guidance on COVID Vaccination Policies

More
Client Alert

DOL Publishes Cybersecurity Guidance for Benefits Plans

More
News

A Lawyer’s Guide to the Galaxy Podcast Named Among Best Copyright Law Podcasts for 2021 by Welp Magazine

More
Client Alert

CROWN Act Legislation on the Verge of Passage in St. Louis City & County

More
News

Jeremy P. Brummond Presents at Webinar for Experienced Construction Attorneys

More
Client Alert

Missouri Supreme Court Holds that Public Governmental Bodies May Not Charge for Attorney Review Time

More
News

Lewis Rice Welcomes 2021 Summer Associates

More
Client Alert

FTC Adds Teeth to the ‘Made in USA’ Rule

More
News

Claims Filed for Compensation in North Carolina Ecusta Trail Rail-to-Trail Case

More
News

Jeannine Moentmann Becomes President of St. Louis Paralegal Association for 2021-2022

More
Client Alert

The New Standard Contractual Clauses: Scope, Impact, and Next Steps

More
Client Alert

The Changing Workplace Following the Latest CDC Mask Guidance

More
Client Alert

Supreme Court Hands Down Unanimous Decision Limiting FTC’s Ability to Seek Monetary Relief

More
Diversity & Inclusion

Law Firm ILN-telligence Podcast Hosts Ronald A. Norwood to Discuss Mentorship, Diversity & Inclusion in the Legal Industry, and the Importance of Equity for All

More
Client Alert

First-Issued Interim Final Rule Gives Guidance on No Surprises Act

More
News

Michael D. Mulligan, Mysun Charitable Foundation Recognized at Greensfelder Park Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

More