Phillips v. Cricket Lighters
Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
883 A.2d 439 (2005)
Jerome Campbell, a two-year-old child, took his mother’s Cricket disposable butane lighter. The lighter did not have any childproof features, and Jerome was able to light the flame, causing a severe fire that killed him and his family. Gwendolyn Phillips (plaintiff), the administratrix of the Campbells’ estate, filed suit against Cricket Lighters and the other manufacturers and distributors of the lighter (Cricket) (defendants), claiming breach of the implied warranty of merchantability and requesting punitive damages. Phillips contended that Cricket should have designed the lighters to be child-resistant. Cricket moved for summary judgment, and the trial court granted the motion, dismissing all claims. Phillips appealed, and the superior court reversed. Cricket appealed to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, which reversed and remanded the superior court’s order. Upon remand, the superior court again reversed the trial court’s summary judgment, finding that a reasonable jury could have concluded that the lighter was not merchantable. In making this determination, the superior court stated that the warranty claim was not barred due to Jerome’s status as an unintended user of the lighter, because based on Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes § 2318, breach-of-warranty protections extended to all members of a buyer’s household. The superior court further concluded that Phillips had offered evidence sufficient to create a genuine issue of material fact as to whether Cricket acted with reckless indifference to others. The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania granted Cricket’s petition for appeal.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Cappy, C.J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 178,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,000 briefs, keyed to 188 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.