Sun Chem. Corp. v. Fike Corp.

After receiving an answer to its certified question from the New Jersey Supreme Court, the 3rd Circuit ruled in Sun Chem. Corp. v. Fike Corp. The Court had to determine whether the nature of the actions Sun Chemical brought regarding an industrial accident was based on “something was wrong” with a piece of equipment, or whether the equipment was not designed to “do what [the defendant] promised.” If the claims were based on something going wrong, the actions were appropriate under the New Jersey Products Liability Act, which allows for only non-economic damages. If the actions were based on the equipment failing to do what the defendant claimed it would do, then the actions were appropriate under New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act, which allows for costs, fees and treble damages. Based on the Supreme Court’s answer to the certified question, the ultimate holding was a foregone conclusion: Most of Sun Chemical’s claims survived summary judgment and appeared to be proper actions under the Consumer Fraud Act.

Fike-Corp