Goldberg Segalla won a hard-fought motion to strike in a contentious products liability/construction defect case in Connecticut — a ruling that should save the client millions of dollars.
The case involved nine defendants and centered around the design, sale, service, and installation of high-end windows in a $13 million home in a Connecticut town. The windows, which were sold and installed by our client, cost the homeowners nearly $1 million to purchase and install. After the windows were installed, significant condensation and ice buildup resulted on them throughout the home, causing water damage to the structure as well as several million dollars of property damage within the residence. The plaintiffs alleged not only that the windows were defective under the products liability statute, but that our client also negligently misrepresented to them that the windows were suitable for use in the climate in which they were installed.
Our team wrote and argued the motion to strike, asserting that the plaintiffs’ negligent misrepresentation claim against our client was barred by the exclusivity of the products liability statute and arguing that our client did not provide a “service” beyond the sale of a product. Under Connecticut products liability law, once a plaintiff alleges that the defendant provided a service rather than merely sold a product, a negligence claim is permitted against a product seller in addition to a product liability claim. The court agreed with our position, ruling that our client was not a service provider in this instance and, thus, the plaintiffs’ only remedy against them was under the products liability statute.
This decision insulates our client from direct exposure to several million dollars in claimed damages, as the client may now seek full indemnification for the sole remaining products liability claim against it from the product manufacturer.