SR&A Obtains Summary Judgment in NJ Food Packaging Case

Product Liability, Food Packaging – Ferreira v. Stop & Shop v. Nestle USA d/b/a San Pellegrino, Superior Court, Essex County, 8563/2010

Jennifer A. Milsky has obtained summary judgment dismissing the third-party complaint of Stop & Shop, in a product liability case involving the cardboard packaging of a four-pack of San Pellegrino bottled water. Plaintiff, a patron of the supermarket, claims that she was injured when two glass bottles fell from the four-pack when she lifted it from the store shelf, shattering and causing lacerations to her lower leg. Stop & Shop asserted a third-party claim against the bottler under the New Jersey Product Liability Act, alleging that the cardboard packaging was defective, and that its failure to contain the bottles was the cause of plaintiffs accident. We successfully argued that the absence of an expert opinion establishing a design defect was fatal to Stop & Shops third-party claim, and that Stop & Shop failed to establish a manufacturing defect, citing evidence that the product was subject to constant handling by Stop & Shops stock personnel, and by customers. Judge Stephen Taylor of the Essex County Superior Court granted Nestle USAs motion, and the case is proceeding to trial against Stop & Shop. Yelena Davydan argued the motion.