MehaffyWeber’s Brad K. Howell Secures Summary Judgment for Caterpillar


Summary judgment was recently entered in favor of Caterpillar in a substantial products liability case pending in the Eastern District of Texas. Plaintiff, AIG Europe, Ltd. (“AIG Europe”), as subrogee of Baker Hughes Incorporated, sought to recover damages in excess of $15 million in connection with a fire at the St. Lucia Well Site fracking operation in Loving County, Texas.

Plaintiff alleged the fire was caused by a 3512C industrial engine designed and manufactured by Caterpillar. Caterpillar disputed that the fire originated in the engine, and that an engine defect caused or contributed to the fire. Caterpillar also contended the engine was not properly maintained.

Plaintiff alleged theories of strict products liability, negligence, breach of contract, and breach of implied warranty of merchantability. Caterpillar filed several motions, challenging Plaintiff’s expert witnesses and ultimately seeking dismissal of the lawsuit. In response to Caterpillar’s motions, the Court excluded, in whole or in part, several expert witnesses. It also granted Caterpillar’s motion for summary judgment, ruling, in part, that Plaintiff failed to offer evidence of a defect that caused or contributed to the fire.

AIG Europe has filed an appeal with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

About Brad K. Howell

Brad K. Howell is a Shareholder with MehaffyWeber with extensive experience successfully defending products liability and catastrophic personal injury litigation. He has litigated in both state and federal courts throughout Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, Florida, West Virginia, New Jersey, and Wisconsin. Mr. Howell has successfully represented Caterpillar, as well as its affiliated brands, for almost twenty years in numerous legal matters across the country.

MehaffyWeber Defends Products Liability Lawsuits

MehaffyWeber is a broad-based regional law firm with a strong emphasis in products liability defense over nearly 70 years. Our trial lawyers actively litigate in state and federal courts throughout Texas and beyond; and, our firm functions as local and regional counsel for many large national and international clients.