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Griffin v. Honeywell Int'l, Inc.

United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Northern Division

November 13, 2014

THERESA A. GRIFFIN a/k/a THERESA A. GAY, Individually and as Administratrix of the ESTATE OF DRUE ROBERT GAY, PLAINTIFF,
v.
HONEYWELL INTERNATIONAL, INC., NORCROSS SAFETY PRODUCTS LLC and HONEYWELL SAFETY PRODUCTS, DEFENDANTS/THIRD-PARTY PLAINTIFFS,
v.
THE SMITHFIELD PACKING COMPANY, INC., THIRD-PARTY DEFENDANT/COUNTERCLAIMANT

For Theresa A. Griffin, as Administratrix of the Estate of, Drue Robert Gay, Executor plaintiff, Plaintiffs: Robert W. Miller, LEAD ATTORNEY, Grayson, KY.

For Honeywell International, Inc., Norcross Safety Products LLC, Honeywell Safety Products, Defendants: Danielle Jarvis Lewis, LEAD ATTORNEY, Reminger Co., L.P.A. - Louisville, Louisville, KY; Neil L. Sambursky, LEAD ATTORNEY, PRO HAC VICE, Miranda Sambursky Sloane Sklarkin Veneniotis LLP, Mineola, NY; Christine Angelina Gilliam, Reminger Co., L.P.A. - Louisville, Louisville, KY.

For Honeywell International, Inc., Norcross Safety Products LLC, Honeywell Safety Products, ThirdParty Plaintiffs: Danielle Jarvis Lewis, LEAD ATTORNEY, Reminger Co., L.P.A. - Louisville, Louisville, KY; Neil L. Sambursky, LEAD ATTORNEY, PRO HAC VICE, Miranda Sambursky Sloane Sklarkin Veneniotis LLP, Mineola, NY; Christine Angelina Gilliam, Reminger Co., L.P.A. - Louisville, Louisville, KY.

For The Smithfield Packing Company, Incorporated, Counter Claimant: W. Kenneth Nevitt, Nevitt Law Offices, Louisville, KY.

For Honeywell International, Inc., Honeywell Safety Products, Norcross Safety Products LLC, Counter Defendants: Danielle Jarvis Lewis, LEAD ATTORNEY, Reminger Co., L.P.A. - Louisville, Louisville, KY; Neil L. Sambursky, LEAD ATTORNEY, Miranda Sambursky Sloane Sklarkin Veneniotis LLP, Mineola, NY; Christine Angelina Gilliam, Reminger Co., L.P.A. - Louisville, Louisville, KY.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Henry R. Wilholt, Jr., United States District judge.

This matter is before the Court upon Third-Party Defendant The Smithfield Packing Company, Inc.'s Motion to Dismiss [Docket No. 19]. The motion has been fully briefed [Docket Nos. 19 and 20]. For the following reasons, Third-Party Defendant The Smithfield Packing Company, Inc.'s Motion to Dismiss will be sustained.

I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

Plaintiff's decedent Drue Robert Gay, was employed by The Smithfield Packing Company, Inc. (" Smithfield") at its facility in Grayson, Kentucky [Complaint, Docket No. 1-1, ¶ 1]. On September 2, 2012, while performing his work duties, Gay was exposed to an electrical shock of 480 volts, which resulted in his death. Id. at ¶ 3. At the time of the exposure, he was wearing a pair of " EH" certified boots, manufactured by Honeywell International, Inc., Norcross Safety Products LLC, and Honeywell Safety Products.

Plaintiff argues that these boots were manufactured, sold, warranted and represented to provide protection in the event of an electrical shock. [Docket No. 1-1, Complaint ¶ 2]. Plaintiff contends that the boots were warranted to provide protection against inadvertent electrical contact up to 14, 000 volts. Id.

Plaintiff, on behalf of herself and the Estate of Drue Gay, filed this products liability action against Honeywell International, Inc., Norcross Safety Products LLC, and Honeywell Safety Products (" Honeywell and Norcross") in the Circuit Court of Carter County, Kentucky, alleging breach of the aforementioned warranty as well as defective design. Plaintiff maintains that had the boots been designed properly and functioned as warranted, Gay's death would not have occurred.

Honeywell and Norcross removed Plaintiff's action to this Court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332. Thereafter, upon leave from this Court, Honeywell and Norcross filed a Third-Party Complaint against Smithfield asserting a right to indemnification, contribution and/or apportionment, alleging that Smithfield caused or contributed to Gay's death [Docket No. 13].

Smithfield argues that the Third-Party Complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted ...


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