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Biehl v. B.E.T., Ltd.

United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, Eastern Division

February 2, 2018, Decided; February 2, 2018, Filed

Civil Action 2:15-cv-2879

Opinion

OPINION AND ORDER

This matter is before the Court on Defendants Deere & Company and ATI Products, Inc.'s Motion For Summary Judgment and to Exclude the Testimony of Plaintiff's Engineering Expert Steven Becker. (Doc. 32). For the reasons that follow, Defendants' Motion to Exclude is DENIED and their Motion for Summary Judgment is GRANTED, meaning Defendants' Motion is DENIED IN PART and GRANTED IN PART.

I. BACKGROUND

Because this matter is before the Court on Defendants' Summary Judgment Motion, the Court views the facts in the light most favorable to Plaintiff, the nonmoving party.

On March 17, 2013, Adam D. Biehl installed a fuel pump on a John Deere 4320 model farming [*2]  tractor owned by his friend, Matt Dailey. (Docs. 4, 34 at 2). According to Mr. Dailey, a month prior to the installation of the fuel pump, the tractor's flywheel was replaced and installed. (Doc. 34-2, p. 30). After the installation of the fuel pump, Mr. Biehl tested the pump. While he was accelerating, decelerating, and idling the tractor to ensure the pump was working properly, the tractor's flywheel fractured and broke through the clutch housing. (Docs. 4 at 5, 34 at 2, 32-1 at 1). The flywheel struck Mr. Biehl, who died as a result of his injury. (Id.).

Plaintiff Amy R. Biehl, as Administratrix of the Estate of her late husband Adam Biehl, filed the Complaint in this matter in the Common Pleas Court of Washington County, Ohio on March 17, 2015, against Defendants B.E.T., Limited, John Deere and Subsidiaries, and ATI Products. (Doc. 4). Plaintiff alleged that the "flywheel housing that shattered was defectively manufactured, marketed, or otherwise placed in the stream of commerce by various Defendants." (Id. at 5). Specifically, Plaintiff asserts: (1) defective manufacture and construction pursuant to Ohio Rev. Code § 2307.74; (2) defective design and/or formulation pursuant to Ohio Rev. Code § 2307.75; (3) defective product due to inadequate [*3]  warning or instruction pursuant to Ohio Rev. Code § 2307.76; (4) defective product due to nonconformance with manufacturers' representations pursuant to Ohio Rev. Code § 2307.77; (5) a wrongful death claim; and (6) a survivorship claim. (Id.).

On September 9, 2015, B.E.T., Limited was dismissed from the action pending in Washington County. As a result, this action became a controversy between citizens of different states under 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a)(1). (Doc. 1-1). Defendants subsequently removed this action to this Court based upon its diversity jurisdiction, and the parties consented to the Magistrate Judge's jurisdiction. (See Docs. 1, 14).

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2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17125 *; 2018 WL 684646

AMY R. BIEHL, Plaintiff, v. B.E.T., LIMITED, et al., Defendants.

Subsequent History: Affirmed by Biehl v. B.E.T., Ltd., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 29343 (6th Cir. Ohio, Oct. 17, 2018)

CORE TERMS

flywheel, manufacturer, tractor, survivorship, feasible, circumstantial, conform, speed, reliable, genuine, cast, iron, metallurgical, installation, speculation, pump, foreseeable, farming, pulling, quotations, explode, maximum, steel, RPM

Evidence, Admissibility, Expert Witnesses, Daubert Standard, Kelly Frye Standard, Scientific Evidence, Standards for Admissibility, Helpfulness, Burdens of Proof, Preponderance of Evidence, Procedural Matters, Preliminary Questions, Credibility & Weight of Evidence, Rulings on Evidence, Torts, Negligence, Elements, Causation, Expert Witnesses, Civil Procedure, Summary Judgment, Entitlement as Matter of Law, Appropriateness, Movant Persuasion & Proof, Nonmovant Persuasion & Proof, Genuine Disputes, Legal Entitlement, Federal & State Interrelationships, Choice of Law, Forum & Place, Conflict of Law, Place of Injury, Products Liability, Types of Defects, Design Defects, Manufacturing Defects, Marketing & Warning Defects, Types of Evidence, Circumstantial Evidence, Trials, Jury Trials, Province of Court & Jury, Theories of Liability, Negligence, Judgments, Evidentiary Considerations, Inferences & Presumptions, Inferences, Allocation, Causation, Proximate Cause, Foreseeability of Harm, Burdens of Production, Remedies, Damages, Measurement of Damages, Wrongful Death & Survival Actions, Survival Actions, Products Liability, Wrongful Death & Survival Actions