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Klein v. Pyrodyne Corp.

Washington Supreme Court
810 P.2d 917 (1991)


Facts

Pyrodyne Corporation (defendant) was chosen to set off a public fireworks display at a Washington state fairgrounds on July 4, 1987. Pyrodyne was subject to numerous regulations, including a requirement that it procure a $1,000,000 liability insurance policy. During the event, a mortar fired its shell from a horizontal position, which exploded near a crowd of spectators. Danny and Marion Klein (plaintiffs) were injured. The Kleins sued Pyrodyne in a Washington state court for products liability and strict liability. The Kleins alleged that Pyrodyne employees had improperly set up the fireworks display and that various other regulations had been violated. Pyrodyne responded that the misfire was caused by manufacturer negligence. Because the fireworks all exploded, there was no conclusive evidence of why the misfire occurred. Both parties moved for summary judgment. The trial court ruled against the Kleins on the issue of product liability but held Pyrodyne to be strictly liable without fault. Pyrodyne appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Guy, J.)

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Concurrence (Dolliver, J.)

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