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Schiaffino v. Ikea U.S. East, LLC

United States District Court, D. Maryland, Southern Division

June 30, 2015

SHEILA SCHIAFFINO Plaintiff,
v.
IKEA U.S. EAST, LLC, Defendant.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

Charles B. Day United States Magistrate Judge

Before this Court is Defendant IKEA U.S. East, L.L.C.’s Partial Motion to Dismiss or, in the Alternative, Motion for Partial Summary Judgment (ECF No. 22) (“Defendant’s Motion”) and the opposition thereto. The Court has reviewed Defendant’s Motion, related memoranda, and applicable law. No hearing is deemed necessary. See Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md.). For the reasons presented below, the Court GRANTS Defendant’s Motion.

I. Factual Background

Ms. Sheila Schiaffino (“Plaintiff”) contends that on November 16, 2013, she left her minor child in the care of IKEA, U.S. East, L.L.C. (“Defendant” or “IKEA”) at an in-store play center called “Småland.” Plaintiff’s child allegedly slipped and fell, sustaining injuries to his teeth and chin. Plaintiff asserts that IKEA was negligent in its construction of Småland and its supervision of her child. Plaintiff specifically claims:

Count I: Negligence;
Count II: Defective design, manufacturing, labeling, strict product liability;
Count III: Defect in labeling warnings – strict product liability;
Count IV: Abnormally dangerous activity, reckless and wanton conduct – strict product liability;
Count V: Breach of warranty; and
Count VI: Respondeat superior liability.

Pl.’s Compl. 5-12.

In Defendant’s Motion, IKEA argues that this Court should either dismiss or grant partial summary judgment as to Plaintiff’s product liability claims (claims II, III, IV, and V) because Plaintiff has not demonstrated that any product was responsible for her child’s injuries. Defendant also argues that Plaintiff has not provided sufficient evidence to survive a motion for summary judgment as to strict liability. Defendant’s Motion includes an affidavit by IKEA manager Jason Benson in which Mr. Benson alleges that the “Småland play area is . . . and was on the day of the incident . . . a service, ” and that “[t]he Småland play area, and its components, is not, and was not at the time of the incident . . . marketed as a product for sale by IKEA, and is a fixture on the property.” Jason Benson’s Aff. 1 (herineafter Benson Affidavit), ECF No. 22-2.

In Plaintiff’s opposition to Defendant’s Motion, she argues that Småland is a product and that Defendant’s Motion should be denied. Plaintiff did not ...


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