Friday, December 27, 2013

Markvicka v. Brodhead-Garrett Co. case brief

Markvicka v. Brodhead-Garrett Co. case brief summary
76 F.R.D. 205 (D. Neb. 1977)

CASE SYNOPSIS
Third-party defendant school district filed a motion to dismiss the third-party complaint against it filed by defendant and third-party plaintiff corporation in an action filed on behalf of plaintiff, a minor child, who suffered severe injuries while using a jointer machine manufactured by the corporation.

CASE FACTS
The minor child attributed his injuries to the defective design and condition of the jointer machine. The corporation's third-party complaint against the school district charged that the school district's improper maintenance of the machine and inadequate supervision of students caused the minor child's injuries. The third-party complaint alleged a right to indemnity.

DISCUSSION

  • The court found that the third-party complaint stated a claim for contribution. 
  • The corporation had alleged that if it was at fault in the design or construction of the jointer machine, the school district was also at fault in its maintenance of the machine and supervision of the students. 
  • A joint judgment might have been entered against both parties. 
  • The court found that Fed. R. Civ. P. 14(a) permitted the joinder of the school district as a party who might have been liable to the corporation. 
  • If the corporation's allegations were true, the school district's negligence was a concurrent cause of the minor child's injury. 
  • The fact that the corporation erroneously defined its claim as one for indemnity did not alter the conclusion that the school district may have been liable for contribution.

CONCLUSION
The court denied the motion of the school district to dismiss the corporation's third-party complaint as long as the corporation amended its third-party complaint against the school district to allege a claim for contribution within 10 days from the court's order.

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