$2.5 Million Judgement Reversed

The Arkansas Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision, reversed a $2.5 million judgment and dismissed a complaint in a products-liability case in which Quattlebaum, Grooms, Tull & Burrow PLLC, working with Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker LLP, represented a defendant on appeal.  The plaintiff’s complaint alleged that QGTB’s client, Yanmar Co., Ltd., a Japanese company, designed, manufactured, and sold a defective and unreasonably dangerous agricultural tractor in 1977 that caused the death of the user of the tractor in 2004 after it made its way from Japan to the United States through a “gray market.”  A Jefferson County jury returned a verdict in favor of the plaintiff, awarded $2.5 million, and apportioned fault among various parties.  QGTB was retained to represent Yanmar Co., Ltd., on appeal.  The Arkansas Supreme Court reversed and dismissed as to Yanmar Co., Ltd., on the ground that the circuit court clearly erred in finding that Arkansas courts have personal jurisdiction over Yanmar Co., Ltd.  The Arkansas Supreme Court also reversed and dismissed as to another defendant, Yanmar America Corporation, because that company owed no duty to the decedent as a matter of law.  Chip Chiles and Steven W. Quattlebaum represented Yanmar Co., Ltd.  Chip Chiles presented the oral argument to the Arkansas Supreme Court.