Michaels v. Pentair Water Pool & SpaAnnotate this Case
Appellant brought a products liability claim against Respondent, the manufacturer of various models of swimming pool filters for both commercial and residential swimming pools, after he was injured when a filter canister exploded. Appellant alleged that the design of the filter was legally defective and that Respondent failed to give him proper warnings regarding the risk of explosion. The jury returned a verdict in favor of Respondent on all claims. Appellant filed a post-trial motion for judgment as a matter of law or, alternatively, for a new trial. The district court denied the motion. Appellant appealed, arguing that, during closing argument, Respondent’s counsel made various impermissible statements that were not based in evidence or that reflected the personal opinion of counsel. Appellant’s counsel did not timely object to any of the disputed statements. The Supreme Court vacated the district court’s denial of Appellant’s motion for new trial, holding that attorney misconduct could be deemed to have occurred in this case and that the evidence supporting the products liability verdict was weak. Remanded to the district court for additional findings and with direction for the district court to reconsider its conclusion.