Rhynes v. Branick Mfg. Corp., No. 80-1410

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
Writing for the CourtBefore GEE, RUBIN and RANDALL; GEE
Citation629 F.2d 409
Docket NumberNo. 80-1410
Decision Date27 October 1980
PartiesWillie RHYNES, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. BRANICK MANUFACTURING CORPORATION, an Applied Power Industry, Defendant, Akron Weldcraft, Defendant-Appellee. Summary Calendar. . Unit A

Page 409

629 F.2d 409
Willie RHYNES, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
BRANICK MANUFACTURING CORPORATION, an Applied Power
Industry, Defendant,
Akron Weldcraft, Defendant-Appellee.
No. 80-1410
Summary Calendar.
United States Court of Appeals,
Fifth Circuit.
Unit A
Oct. 27, 1980.

Eberstein, Morris, Smith & Kinder, P.C., Paul L. Smith, Dallas, Tex., for plaintiff-appellant.

Vial, Hamilton, Koch, Tubb, Knox & Stradley, Robert H. Frost, Gerald R. Powell, Dallas, Tex., for Akron Weldcraft.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas.

Before GEE, RUBIN and RANDALL, Circuit Judges.

GEE, Circuit Judge:

Appellant Rhynes' Texas diversity action claims damages for personal injury suffered when a tire exploded inside a safety cage. That the assertedly defective cage was manufactured by a business predecessor of defendant, rather than by defendant, is not disputed on this appeal from the summary judgment that Rhynes suffered below. 1 Mr. Rhynes' appeal proceeds instead on a theory of product liability known as the "product line" rule, which he urges we should adopt in this case.

Page 410

The product line rule, as it is represented to us, may be epitomized as declaring that one who acquires a manufacturing business and continues to manufacture a line of its products assumes by force of law strict liability for defects in units of that line manufactured by his predecessor. The meager authority cited by appellant for this rule-a case each from the states of California, Michigan, and New Hampshire-indicates that the rule finds its origins in theories of estoppel and of vicarious liability rather than in those of implied warranty, institutional fault, and the consequent market responsibility of a reputable seller that underlie section 402A of the Restatement of Torts. Indeed, that section commences with the phrase: "One who sells . . . ." The Texas form of strict or product liability rests squarely on section 402A. See, e.g., Pittsburg Coca-Cola Bottling Works v. Ponder, 443 S.W.2d 546, 548 (Tex.1969) ("we committed the court to the rule of strict liability expressed in Section 402A").

The sole Texas authority cited to us by appellant as indicating that Texas would adopt the product line rule is a passage from Justice Campbell's special concurrence in Turner v. General Motors Corp., 584 S.W.2d 844 (Tex.1979). For several reasons, this is not persuasive. In the first place, Turner did not concern or involve in any way the...

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41 practice notes
  • Martin v. Abbott Laboratories, No. 49359-6
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Washington
    • October 4, 1984
    ...whether to impose strict liability on a successor corporation have expressly rejected the Ray approach. See Rhynes v. Branick Mfg. Corp., 629 F.2d 409 (5th Cir.1980) (applying Texas Law); Travis v. Harris Corp., 565 F.2d 443 (7th Cir.1977) (applying Ohio and Indiana law); Leannais v. Cincin......
  • Combs v. International Ins. Co., No. 01-6493.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (6th Circuit)
    • January 6, 2004
    ...hearing diversity matters should be extremely cautious about adopting "substantive innovation" in state law. Rhynes v. Branick Mfg. Corp., 629 F.2d 409, 410 (5th Cir. Unit A 1980). Thus, we must handle this issue As noted, Plaintiff contends that the Kentucky Supreme Court would interpret K......
  • Jackson v. Johns-Manville Sales Corp., JOHNS-MANVILLE
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • January 22, 1986
    ...jurisprudential developments--be more chary of doing so than should an inferior state tribunal. Rhynes v. Branick Mfg. Corp., 629 F.2d 409, 410 (5th When making an Erie guess in the absence of specific guidance from the Mississippi Supreme Court, our prediction of state law looks to: (1) lo......
  • Perkins State Bank v. Connolly, No. 78-3480
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • December 19, 1980
    ...merits or demerits of the proposed new rule, for us to adopt it for Texas would be presumptuous. Rhynes v. Branick Manufacturing Corp., 629 F.2d 409, 410 (5th Cir. 1980). We are particularly reluctant to adopt new rules of law in order to restrict the plain meaning of state statutes. Fla.St......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
41 cases
  • Martin v. Abbott Laboratories, No. 49359-6
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Washington
    • October 4, 1984
    ...whether to impose strict liability on a successor corporation have expressly rejected the Ray approach. See Rhynes v. Branick Mfg. Corp., 629 F.2d 409 (5th Cir.1980) (applying Texas Law); Travis v. Harris Corp., 565 F.2d 443 (7th Cir.1977) (applying Ohio and Indiana law); Leannais v. Cincin......
  • Combs v. International Ins. Co., No. 01-6493.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (6th Circuit)
    • January 6, 2004
    ...hearing diversity matters should be extremely cautious about adopting "substantive innovation" in state law. Rhynes v. Branick Mfg. Corp., 629 F.2d 409, 410 (5th Cir. Unit A 1980). Thus, we must handle this issue As noted, Plaintiff contends that the Kentucky Supreme Court would interpret K......
  • Jackson v. Johns-Manville Sales Corp., JOHNS-MANVILLE
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • January 22, 1986
    ...jurisprudential developments--be more chary of doing so than should an inferior state tribunal. Rhynes v. Branick Mfg. Corp., 629 F.2d 409, 410 (5th When making an Erie guess in the absence of specific guidance from the Mississippi Supreme Court, our prediction of state law looks to: (1) lo......
  • Perkins State Bank v. Connolly, No. 78-3480
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • December 19, 1980
    ...merits or demerits of the proposed new rule, for us to adopt it for Texas would be presumptuous. Rhynes v. Branick Manufacturing Corp., 629 F.2d 409, 410 (5th Cir. 1980). We are particularly reluctant to adopt new rules of law in order to restrict the plain meaning of state statutes. Fla.St......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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