American Machinist

Defective pipe? (Law & Liability).

BETWEEN 1971 AND 1974, Northwestern Public Service installed polyethylene pipe as part of a natural gas-distribution system. The pipe was made from DHDA-2077 Tan (Tan resin), manufactured by Union Carbide Corp.

Northwestern said it discovered defects in the pipe in 1997, which caused premature failure. Asserting that it had to replace the entire pipe, Northwestern sued Union Carbide under theories of fraud and breach of warranty for the costs of replacing the pipe. It said that Union Carbide falsely represented that the pipe complied with industry and regulatory requirements.

Union Carbide asked the federal trial court to grant summary judgment for it before trial, arguing that the pipe did meet industry standards, and that there was no evidence that it intended to deceive anyone. …

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