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HOMRIGHAUSEN v. WESTINGHOUSE ELEC. CORP.

July 13, 1993

SARAH HOMRIGHAUSEN, a minor by her parents and natural guardians, DAVID and LINDSLEY HOMRIGHAUSEN, and DAVID and LINDSLEY HOMRIGHAUSEN, in their own right
v.
WESTINGHOUSE ELECTRIC CORPORATION v. NATIONAL RAILROAD PASSENGER CORPORATION a/k/a AMTRAK



The opinion of the court was delivered by: BY THE COURT; HERBERT J. HUTTON

 HUTTON, J.

 July 13, 1993

 Presently before the Court is the defendant Westinghouse Electric Corporation's Motion for Summary Judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56, the plaintiff's Answer and the defendant's Reply. For the following reasons, the defendant's motion is GRANTED.

 FACTUAL BACKGROUND

 The plaintiffs have filed this civil action arising out of an incident which occurred on April 2, 1990 in the Amtrak Railroad Station, 30th Street Station, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Plaintiffs allege that the right hand of minor plaintiff was

 caught in an escalator at that location. The escalator was designed, furnished and installed by Westinghouse Electric Corporation ("Westinghouse") at the 30th Street Station for the Consolidated Rail Corporation ("Amtrak"). Westinghouse completed the installation of the escalator on or about September 29, 1977 and pursuant to the sale contract provided Amtrak with three months of maintenance. Westinghouse did not perform any work on the escalator after the expiration of the three month maintenance period.

 The plaintiffs filed this complaint on February 26, 1992 against Westinghouse Electric Corporation to recover for their damages on theories of negligence in the manufacture and design of the escalator and in strict liability. *fn1" Westinghouse has filed the present motion for judgment based upon a defense provided by Pennsylvania's statute of repose. 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 5536. The defendant contends that pursuant to section 5536, the plaintiffs' claims are barred. The plaintiffs' argue that Westinghouse is not entitled to the protection of the statute.

 DISCUSSION

 A. Standard for Summary Judgment

 The purpose of summary judgment is to avoid a pointless trial in cases where it is unnecessary and would only cause delay and expense. Goodman v. Mead Johnson & Co., 534 F.2d 566, 573 (3d Cir. 1976), cert. denied, 429 U.S. 1038, 50 L. Ed. 2d 748, 97 S. Ct. 732 (1977). When considering a motion for summary judgment, this Court shall grant such motion "if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c). When reviewing a motion for summary judgment, this Court will resolve all reasonable doubts and inferences in favor of the non-moving party. Arnold Pontiac--GMC, Inc. v. General Motors Corp., 700 F. Supp. 838, 840 (W.D. Pa. 1988).

 The inquiry into whether a "genuine issue" of material fact exists has been defined by the Supreme Court as whether "the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248, 91 L. Ed. 2d 202, 106 S. Ct. 2505 (1986). "As to materiality, the substantive law will identify which facts are material." Id.

 The Supreme Court articulated the allocation of burdens between a moving and nonmoving party in a motion for summary judgment in Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 91 L. Ed. 2d 265, 106 S. Ct. 2548 (1986). The Court held that the movant had the initial burden of showing the court the absence of a genuine issue of material fact, but that this did not require the movant to support the motion with affidavits or other materials that negated the opponent's claim. Id. at 323. The Court also held that Rule 56(e) requires the nonmoving party to "go beyond the pleadings and by her own affidavits, or by the 'depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions, on file,' designate 'specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.'" Id. at 324 (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e)).

 The Supreme Court further elaborated on the type of evidence that the nonmoving party is required to adduce in order to withstand a motion for summary judgment:

 
We do not mean that the nonmoving party must produce evidence in a form that would be admissible at trial in order to avoid summary judgment. Obviously, Rule 56 does not require the nonmoving party to depose her own witnesses. Rule 56(e) permits a proper summary judgment motion to be opposed by any of the kinds of evidentiary materials listed in Rule 56(c), except the mere pleadings themselves, and it is from this list that one would normally expect the nonmoving party to make the showing to which we have referred [a genuine issue of material fact].

 Id.

 B. The Pennsylvania Statute of ...


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