Friday, December 27, 2013

Beeck v. Aquaslide 'N' Dive Corp. case brief

Beeck v. Aquaslide 'N' Dive Corp. case brief summary
562 F.2d 537 (8th Cir. 1977)

CASE SYNOPSIS
Plaintiffs appealed an order of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa granting summary judgment in favor of defendant in a product liability action.

CASE FACTS
Plaintiff was seriously injured while using a water slide. He and his wife sued defendant manufacturer, alleging that it manufactured the water slide involved in the accident. Defendant initially admitted manufacture of the slide, but later, after inspecting the slide, defendant amended its answer to deny manufacture. Plaintiffs refused to concede that defendant had not manufactured the slide. On motion of the defendant, a separate trial was held on the issue of whether defendant manufactured the slide in question. The jury issued a verdict for defendant and the trial court entered summary judgment of dismissal of the case.

DISCUSSION
On appeal, the court held that judicial economy was served by the trial court's grant of a separate trial and that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in allowing defendant to amend its answer upon discovering that it had not manufactured the waterslide in question.

CONCLUSION
Order granting summary judgment in favor of defendant affirmed because the trial court did not abuse its discretion in conducting a separate trial solely for the purpose of establishing whether the defendant manufactured the product in question.

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