Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Gray v. Badger Mining Corp. case brief

Gray v. Badger Mining Corp. case brief summary
676 N.W.2d 268 (2004)

Plaintiff worker brought a products liability action against defendant supplier et al, which manufactured and sold sand to the worker's employer. The worker alleged that his repeated exposure to silica dust caused silicosis of the lungs. The trial court denied the supplier's motion for summary judgment. The Minnesota Court of Appeals reversed. The worker's petition for review on the duty to warn was granted.

On review, the worker contended, inter alia, that the supplier breached its duty to warn the worker of hazards associated with the use of silica in foundry processes.


  • The appellate court reversed the trial court, holding that, because the worker's employer was a sophisticated purchaser and the supplier was a bulk supplier, the supplier had no duty to warn the worker of the dangers of silica dust. 
  • The supreme court found that, because there were genuine issues of material fact with respect to the sophistication of the worker and his employer and the adequacy of the warnings and instructions given by the supplier to the employer, the trial court was correct in denying the supplier's motion for summary judgment. 
  • As such, the appellate court erred in reversing the trial court's decision.

The appellate court's judgment was reversed, and the trial court's judgment was reinstated.

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