Torts Keyed to Henderson
Gray v. Badger Mining Corp.
Lawrence Gray (Plaintiff) worked at Smith Foundry from 1951 to 1998. Smith Foundry used sand supplied by Badger Mining Corporation (Defendant) to create molds in which metal objects were cast. Defendant supplied Smith Foundry with sand in bulk prior to 1981 and then again beginning in 1992. Plaintiff sued Defendant and other suppliers of sand for negligence, strict liability for failure to warn, and breach of warranties of merchantability and fitness for intended purpose, alleging that his repeated exposure to silica dust caused silicosis of the lungs. At trial, Plaintiff produced evidence that Defendant had knowledge of the special hazards involved in using sand for foundry purposes. Specifically, when sand is knocked off the metal casting, the sand is pulverized to small sub-micron sized particles of dust. These particles were then breathed in by Plaintiff. The trial court denied Defendant’s motion for summary judgment and it appealed. The appellate court reversed, holding that Defendant had no duty to warn Plaintiff of the dangers of silica dust because his employer, Smith Foundry, was a “sophisticated purchaser” and Defendant was a “bulk supplier.” Plaintiff appealed.
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