San Francisco Managing Partner Julian J. Pardini, Partner Jonathan D. Martin, and Appellate Partner W. Eric Blumhardt, along with San Diego Appellate Partners Jeffry A. Miller and Brittany Bartold Sutton, prevailed in an appeal of a trial court's order granting summary judgment in favor of a defendant who operated a nut factory.

The plaintiff was fatally injured while servicing a machine at the nut factory and sued the defendant, alleging both predecessor and successor strict liability for the machine's manufacturing, design, and/or warning defects. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendant on grounds that the defendant never had a corporate relationship with the prior owner of the factory and did not manufacture, design, or sell the allegedly defective machine.

California's Fifth Appellate District affirmed, concluding that the plaintiffs could not raise a triable issue of material fact as to (1) whether the defendant assumed liability of the predecessor company that was engaged in the business of manufacturing, designing, or selling the machine, or (2) whether the defendant owned, possessed, or controlled the factory where the injury occurred.

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