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Sierocinski v. E. I. Du Pont De Nemours & Co. - 103 F.2d 843, 1939 U.S. App. LEXIS 3677

Rule:

A plaintiff need not plead evidence. He "sets forth a claim for relief" when he makes a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief as required by Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2).

Facts:

Plaintiff Sierocinski alleged that he was injured by the premature explosion of a dynamite cap. Specifically, Sierocinski claimed as negligent acts the manufacturing and distributing of the cap in such a fashion that it was unable to withstand the crimping that defendant E. I. Du Pont De Nemours & Co. (Du Pont) knew it would be subjected to, and distributing a cap so constructed that it would explode upon being crimped, without warning, with Du Pont’s knowledge that it would be crimped.

The district court dismissed Sierocinski’s action for failure to set forth any specific act of negligence. From his order Sierocinski appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

Issue:

Did Sierocinski’s action set forth a claim for relief?

Answer:

Yes.

Conclusion:

Du Pont admitted that a manufacturer is liable for injuries to a person from the use of a defectively manufactured article, but argued that it was not put on notice by the complaint as to whether it must meet a claim of warranty, of misrepresentation, of the use of improper ingredients, or of faulty inspection. 

But there is a specific averment of negligent manufacture and distribution of the cap in such a fashion as to make it explode when crimped. A plaintiff need not plead evidence. He "sets forth a claim for relief" when he makes "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief (Rule 8(a)(2)." The same rule, (e)(1), requires that "each averment of a pleading shall be simple, concise, and direct. No technical forms of pleading or motions are required"; and (f) "all pleadings shall be so construed as to do substantial justice".

The judgment was reversed, and the cause remanded for further proceedings.

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