January 20, 2022

Fishkin Lucks Scores Voluntary Dismissal in Eastern District of Pennsylvania

The Firm secured a voluntary dismissal in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania of all claims brought against our client, a leading manufacturer of protective paints and coatings. Plaintiff had alleged that our client’s floor stain product had caused a spontaneous combustion event leading to a fire that substantially damaged plaintiff’s investment property. Plaintiff alleged that the floor stain was defective for failing to adequately warn about the alleged dangers of spontaneous combustion.

Trying to avoid the consequence of an earlier judgment the Firm secured on its client’s behalf in the United States District Court for the Central District of California, holding that the stain product’s label met all requirements of the Federal Hazardous Substances Act (FHSA)insofar as warning about the risk of spontaneous combustion, plaintiff moved for partial summary judgment, arguing that her warning claims were not governed by the FHSA. We opposed plaintiff’s motion, arguing that the claims were both expressly and impliedly preempted by the FHSA and that plaintiff was collaterally estopped from contesting that fact. After considering the parties’ multiple rounds of briefing, and hearing from the parties at a lengthy argument, the Court (Hon. Edward G. Smith) telegraphed that it was likely to rule in our client’s favor. Rather than risk the precedential effect another adverse decision would have on other “spontaneous combustion claims” pending against our client, plaintiff voluntarily dismissed her claims with prejudice