ACE American v. Eaton Corporation

Order excluding expert and granting summary judgment

by Michael Durr

Order excluding expert and granting summary judgment in 7-figure subrogation claim against Eaton Corporation for a defective "electric meter pan with circuit breakers" which had been installed in the building prior to the fire. Applying these holdings by high authority to the present case, there is sufficient evidence in

the record to justify Cristino's conclusion that a short circuit in the Eaton-manufactured meter enclosure caused the house to catch fire. The meter enclosure was recovered and examined after the casualty. Counsel for Eaton agree that a short circuit occurred within the product's confines at some time. Cristino's report states, without subsequent contradiction, that "preliminary analysis identified the area of fire origin as being in the vicinity of the electric service meter enclosure and underground conductor conduit location on the northerly side of the structure." Doc. 37-2 at 2. The post-casualty internal condition of the meter enclosure is consistent with heat sufficient to cause combustion being transmitted from the meter enclosure to the combustible residential house structure to which the meter enclosure was attached. But these circumstances are not sufficient to cast Eaton in liability for a product defect.