Gray v. Badger Mining, 664 N.W.2d 881 (Minn. Ct. App. 2003), and Gray v. Badger Mining, 676 N.W.2d 268 (Minn. 2004)

Partner Cindy Bartell of Foley & Mansfield's Minneapolis office worked on the appeals in Gray v. Badger Mining, 664 N.W.2d 881 (Minn. Ct. App. 2003), and Gray v. Badger Mining, 676 N.W.2d 268 (Minn. 2004), representing the sand supplier in a product liability case where the plaintiff alleged he developed silicosis from his work in a foundry. The appeal developed the sophisticated intermediary/bulk supplier defense in Minnesota. The Minnesota Court of Appeals reversed the lower court and held Badger Mining, who allegedly supplied sand to a sophisticated purchaser of silica, owed no duty to warn the plaintiff or his employer of silica hazards. Following the court of appeals ruling, a complaint filed in 2003 in Hennepin County, Minnesota alleging silicosis claims on behalf of over 40 out-of-state plaintiffs was voluntarily dismissed and never refiled in Minnesota. Though the Minnesota Supreme Court on review in Gray found fact questions precluding summary judgment in favor of the sand supplier, no new silicosis cases have been filed in Minnesota since that ruling.