The Appellate Group

Kuhar v. Thompson Manufacturing

Kuhar v. Thompson Manufacturing, 2024 UT 12 (Petersen, J.)

Civil Procedure

A man brought a product liability claim against a Utah Company after bringing the same claim against the same company in New Jersey federal court. The Company had been dismissed from that action, however, and the federal court granted a motion for summary judgment in favor of the Company. Later in Utah district court, the Company moved to preclude the man from again litigating whether the harness was defective, and the district court dismissed the man’s claims. On appeal, the Utah Court of Appeals reversed the district court’s dismissal because it believed the issue was not the same issue. But on certiorari, the Utah Supreme Court reversed the Utah Court of Appeals, holding:

  • The court of appeals incorrectly reversed the trial court’s dismissal based on issue preclusion. Because New Jersey law is the applicable law, the issue of whether the harness was defective was litigated and decided in the New Jersey federal case.

Read the full court opinion