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E. J. STEWARD, INC. v. AITKEN PRODS.

January 22, 1985

E. J. STEWART, INC.
v.
AITKEN PRODUCTS, INC. and ELECTRO-THERM, INC.; MARRA DAVIS v. AITKEN PRODUCTS, INC. and ELECTRO-THERM, INC.; VICTOR C. SMITH, INC. and SPORKIN ASSOCIATES, INC. v. AITKEN PRODUCTS, INC. and ELECTRO-THERM, INC.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: VANARTSDALEN

 VanARTSDALEN, District Judge.

 1. BACKGROUND

 The plaintiffs in Civil Actions 81-4328 and 81-4742, Marra Davis, Victor C. Smith, Inc. and Sporkin Associates, Inc., were the owner and two other tenants of the building, respectively. Pursuant to stipulation entered into by the parties, the plaintiffs in Civil Actions 81-4328 and 81-4742 agreed to be bound by a decision as to liability in Civil Action 81-3292. Therefore, Civil Action 81-3292, with E. J. Stewart as plaintiff, proceeded to trial alone.

 Following a jury trial that commenced on February 28, 1984 and concluded on March 8, 1984, the jury returned answers to written interrogatories in favor of defendants as follows:

 
SPECIAL INTERROGATORIES TO THE JURY
 
1. Do you find that the electric heater was the cause of the fire? YES X NO
 
2. Do you find that the electric heater, at the time it was manufactured and sold by Aitken Products, Inc., was defective? YES X NO
 
(a) If 2 above is answered YES, was such defect a design defect? YES NO X
 
(1) If 2(a) is answered YES, was such a design defect a legal cause of the fire (i.e., a substantial factor in bringing about the fire)? YES NO
 
(b) If 2 is answered YES, was such defect a failure to provide adequate warnings? YES X NO
 
(1) If 2(b) is answered YES, was such failure to provide adequate warnings a legal cause of the fire (i.e., a substantial factor in bringing about the fire)? YES NO X
 
3. Do you find that the electric heating element (calrod) component part of the electric heater, at the time it was manufactured and sold by Electro ...

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