Montgomery McCracken Achieves Victory for Natural Gas Pipe Manufacturer in Nationwide Class Action
August 27, 2020
Types : Press Releases
Montgomery McCracken is pleased to announce that on August 13, 2020, our Class Action Defense attorneys secured a complete victory in a proposed nationwide class action against their client Titeflex Corporation and two other companies in George v. Omega Flex, Inc., 6:17-cv-03144 (W.D. Mo.). Specifically, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri granted the defendants’ motion for summary judgment, concluding that no reasonable jury could find in favor of plaintiffs on any of their claims.
Titeflex is one of the nation’s largest manufacturers of a natural gas piping product called yellow CSST—a corrugated stainless-steel tubing sheathed in a yellow polymer jacket. Eleven plaintiffs (the vast majority of whom had never heard of CSST before plaintiffs’ counsel approached them to join a lawsuit) sued Titeflex and two other large manufacturers of yellow CSST on behalf of a proposed nationwide class of consumers with yellow CSST in their homes. They asserted that the companies had misrepresented the safety of their products, which, according to the complaint, are unreasonably dangerous because they allegedly create a risk of fire damage if lightning strikes nearby. Plaintiffs alleged violations of the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act, conspiracy, and unjust enrichment.
In their motion for summary judgment, the CSST manufacturers argued that the plaintiffs could not establish basic elements of any of their three causes of action. Specifically, plaintiffs had no evidence to suggest that (1) the manufacturers had misrepresented anything about their products’ safety; (2) the plaintiffs had suffered economic loss as a result of the manufacturers’ representations; (3) the manufacturers’ statements had any impact on—or were connected in any way with—the plaintiffs’ CSST purchases; (4) there was any causal connection between the CSST safety statements and the injuries alleged; or (5) the plaintiffs ever relied on any statements about CSST.
The court agreed and granted the motion. Its 19-page opinion thoroughly reviewed the plaintiffs’ failings. The court concluded that “Plaintiffs simply cannot establish a connection with any alleged misrepresentation and their purchase or building of homes containing Yellow CSST,” Op. at 14; that “Plaintiffs cannot establish that they have suffered an ascertainable loss,” id.; that “[t]here is no evidence any Plaintiff has experienced a defect or problem with the Yellow CSST in their home” or any other injury “caused by the alleged unlawful practice,” id. at 17; and that “there is no evidence of unfair or misleading conduct” by the manufacturers, id. at 18. The court also denied as moot the plaintiffs’ pending class certification motion.
The court’s decision vindicated years of hard-fought litigation and an earlier trip to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. Montgomery McCracken attorneys John G. Papianou, Chuck B. Casper, Patrick T. Ryan, Robert E. Day, and legal assistant Denise LeGendre worked tirelessly on behalf of the firm’s client to secure the win.
About Montgomery McCracken
Montgomery McCracken is a full-service law firm with offices in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Delaware. The firm represents leading businesses, multinational corporations, nonprofit organizations and individuals across a wide range of industries in complex litigation matters, significant corporate transactions and challenging disputes. Follow the firm on Twitter at @MMWR_Law.