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Law School Case Brief

In re Silicone Gel *** Implants Prods. Liab. Litig. - 887 F. Supp. 1447 (N.D. Ala. 1995)

Rule:

Summary judgment is proper if, because of facts shown not to be in genuine dispute, a party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Material facts in genuine dispute are assumed to be favorable to the party against whom summary judgment would be entered. In deciding whether a party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law, the court uses the same standards and burdens of production and persuasion that would apply at a jury trial.

Facts:

Defendant parent corporation moved for summary judgment in plaintiff victims' multidistrict silicone gel *** implant products liability action. Defendant alleged that there was insufficient evidence to support plaintiffs' claims through piercing the corporate veil or under a theory of direct liability.

Issue:

Was defendant parent corporation entitled to prevail on its motion for summary judgment in plaintiffs' product liability action?

Answer:

No.

Conclusion:

The court denied the motion for summary judgment. Substantial evidence supported piercing the corporate veil under the corporate control theory, and finding that defendant's subsidiary, the manufacturer of the breast implants, was the alter ego of defendant. There was also ample evidence to support a direct liability theory of negligent undertaking against defendant, including placement of the parent corporation's name on product marketing and packaging and inserts, showing the parent corporation's support for the product, apparently to increase confidence and sales.

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