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Nowak v. Faberge U.S.A., Inc.

United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania
812 F. Supp. 492 (1992)


Facts

Alison Nowak (plaintiff) suffered serious injuries after she punctured a can of Aqua Net hairspray near an open flame. Nowak had decided to puncture the can after the can’s nozzle failed to function, and Nowak was unaware that the contents were flammable and would spray out. Nowak brought a products-liability claim against Faberge U.S.A., Inc. (Faberge) (defendant), the manufacturer of the hairspray, alleging that Faberge had failed to warn her of the dangers posed by the hairspray can. At trial, Nowak provided expert-witness testimony that the warning label provided on the can was insufficient to put her on notice of the potential dangers. Nowak also testified that she had not read the warning, but might have done so if the warning had been more prominent, and that she recalled large words on the can such as “Aqua Net Hairspray” and “33% More.” A jury returned a verdict in favor of Nowak on her failure-to-warn theory, and Faberge filed post-trial motions for a directed verdict and judgment notwithstanding the verdict (NOV). Nowak opposed Faberge’s motions.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Nealon, 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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