Supreme Court overturns lower court decision in favor of teen who rode oil pump

Alejandro de los Rios Mar. 10, 2011, 12:45pm

The Louisiana Supreme Court has overturned a lower court ruling in favor of a teenage boy who was injured while riding an oil pump, exonerating the pump manufacture of any blame.

The suit, which was originally filed in Rapides Parish by the boy's mother, claimed that Lufkin, the manufacturer which produced the oil pump in the 1950s, should have foreseen that children would attempt to ride the pump.

The Rapides Parish Civil District Court granted summary judgment for the defense, dismissing the plaintiff's claims.

In October 2010, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals voted 3-2 to reverse the district court ruling, finding that Lufkin "should have expected an ordinary person in the same or similar circumstances to use or handle the pumping unity in this way."

The plaintiffs sought damages under the Louisiana Product Liability Act (LPLA), which deems that the manufacturer of a product is liable to plaintiffs if injuries are caused "from a reasonably anticipated use of the product by the claimant or another person or entity."

The Louisiana Supreme Court found "because, on the state of the evidence, reasonable persons could reach only one conclusion, i.e., riding the pumping unit was not a reasonably anticipated use of the unit at the time it was manufactured, there is no need for a trial on this issue."

The decision was handed down Feb. 18.

Louisiana Supreme Court Cast No. 2010-C02627

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