Cases & Deals

Duchossois Group obtains dismissal of products liability lawsuit over misplaced garage door control button

Client(s) Duchossois Group, Inc., The

Jones Day client The Duchossois Group, Inc.'s subsidiary The Chamberlain Group, Inc. obtained summary judgment in its favor in a products liability case arising from an accident in the spring of 2011 when the plaintiff sustained personal injuries while using a misplaced control button to open a motorized overhead garage door. The plaintiff and her husband brought claims against Chamberlain as the manufacturer of the garage door opener and control button, as well as the door manufacturer, door installer, and Home Depot, the retailer who sold the door, opener, and installation services. Shortly after the case was filed, the door installer filed a cross-claim for contribution and / or indemnification from Chamberlain.

From the outset, working closely with a safety engineer from Chamberlain, Jones Day worked throughout discovery to develop evidence that the accident was entirely the result of an improper installation of the Chamberlain garage door opener control buttons. During depositions, Chamberlain developed evidence that the installation was not in accordance with its instruction manuals and warnings and that its product and warnings met all applicable standards. On summary judgment, the court ruled in Chamberlain's favor on all the plaintiffs' claims and the installer's cross-claim. The court specifically held that the accident would not have occurred but for the improper installation of Chamberlain's product and that Chamberlain had no obligation to contribute to or indemnify the installer.

Munro v. Clopay Bldg. Products Co., Inc., Index No. 33839/11 (NY)