Farias v. Mr.Heater, Inc., No. 11-10405 (11th Cir. 2012)

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Justia Opinion Summary

Plaintiff-Appellant Lilybet Farias appealed the grant of summary judgment in favor of Defendants-Appellants Mr. Heater, Inc., Enerco Group, Inc. and The Home Depot, Inc. Further, she appealed the denial of the Rule 59 motion for reconsideration in favor of Defendants on her claims of strict products liability and negligent failure-to-warn. Plaintiff asserted that Defendants negligently failed to warn her of the danger which could result from the indoor use of two propane gas-fired infra-red portable heaters that she purchased from Home Depot and which had been manufactured by Enerco and Mr. Heater. As a result of the allegedly inadequate warnings, Plaintiff argued she unwittingly used the heaters inside her home and when she failed to close a valve on one of the gas tanks before going to sleep, her home caught fire causing thousands of dollars in damages. On appeal, Plaintiff argued the district court erred by resolving as a matter of law, rather than leaving the issue for the jury's determination, the question of the adequacy of the warnings and instructions provided with the heaters. Upon review, the Eleventh Circuit saw no error in the district court's conclusion that the warnings provided by Defendants were inadequate as a matter of law. Accordingly, the Court affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of Defendants.