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Ellsworth v. Sherne Lingerie, Inc.

Court of Appeals of Maryland
495 A.2d 348 (1985)


Facts

Elizabeth Ellsworth (plaintiff) bought a nightgown manufactured by Sherne Lingerie, Inc. (defendant). The nightgown’s fabric was manufactured by Cone Mills Corporation (defendant). Ellsworth was wearing the nightgown inside-out when she reached for something above a lit stove. One of the nightgown pockets hung over the lit stove and caught fire, and Ellsworth was severely burned. Ellsworth brought suit against the defendants on negligence and strict-liability grounds, alleging a failure to properly flame-retard the fabric and a failure to warn of the fabric’s flammability. The trial judge instructed the jury on the doctrine of misuse of a product. The jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendants. The court of special appeals affirmed. Ellsworth appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (McAuliffe, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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