Justia Vermont Supreme Court Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Products Liability
In 2007, plaintiff was severely injured when a 2000 Dodge Neon that she was driving was struck from behind by another vehicle. In July 2010, she filed a personal-injury action against Midstate, the automobile dealer that sold her the vehicle; Chrysler Group LLC, successor-in-interest to Chrysler Corporation, which manufactured the vehicle but later declared bankruptcy; JCI, which manufactured the vehicle's driver's seat; and Autoliv ASP, Inc., which manufactured the vehicle's seatbelts. In September 2012, plaintiff entered into a settlement agreement with Midstate and Chrysler Group. Based on the settlement agreement, the trial court issued an order of dismissal with prejudice in favor of Midstate and Chrysler Group. A jury trial in June 2013 on plaintiff's remaining action against JCI resulted in a verdict in favor of plaintiff on the products-liability claim. The trial court also entered a final judgment in favor of JCI and against Midstate on the cross-claim for indemnity. Midstate appealed that judgment. The issue primarily briefed by the parties on appeal was whether an indemnitee invoking common law equitable indemnity must extinguish the liability of the indemnitor to collect indemnity. The Supreme Court found no basis to distrub the judgment in favor of JCI, and affirmed. View "Heco v. Foster Motors" on Justia Law