Estate of Stanley Pinkham v. Cargill, Inc.Annotate this Case
The Estate of Stanley Pinkham appealed a superior court judgment granting Cargill, Inc.’s motion for summary judgment on the Estate’s complaint. In 2004, Mr. Pinkham consumed a boneless turkey sandwich that contained a piece of bone. The turkey was "manufactured" by Cargill, Inc. The bone caused an esophageal tear requiring surgery (Mr. Pinkham died several years later after sustaining his injury. He did not sue for wrongful death). Three affidavits that the Estate relied on to defeat Cargill's motion for summary judgment were held inadmissible at trial. After consideration, the trial court granted Cargill's motion noting that Maine had not established the requisite test to use when evaluating a strict liability claim for allegedly defective food pursuant to its strict liability statute. On appeal to the Supreme Court, the Estate argued that it provided sufficient evidence to create a genuine issue of material fact, thereby rendering summary judgment inappropriate. The Estate further argued that the court erred in concluding that the Estate failed to meet its burden of proof to establish facts from which a fact-finder could infer that Cargill’s boneless turkey product was defective. Upon review, the Supreme Court agreed that summary judgment was not proper given the facts presented in this case, and vacated the superior court’s judgment and remanded the case for further proceedings.