Union City, Mich.-based Glove Coaters Inc. is seeking the dismissal of a case filed against it by a Houston-based glass industry representative who claims the company “fraudulently marketed” its gloves as “a cut-resistant glove for safe glass handling.” Anthony Lopez, who filed the suit, claims he was cut by a piece of glass while wearing the company’s gloves last July while working at Craftsman Fabricated Glass in Houston.
In response to Lopez’s allegations that Glove Coaters “repeatedly represented and warranted the ‘cut-resistant’ nature of its gloves,” the company claims that he “does not specify whether his employer spoke with anyone working for [Glove Coaters] when ordering the gloves; does not specify the type of packaging in which the gloves were shipped; and does not state whether any warnings or warranties were present with the gloves.”
“Each and every one of plaintiff’s causes of action relies on the presupposition that defendant purposefully or negligently misrepresented the quality and durability of its products, because without plaintiff’s employer’s reliance on defendant’s alleged warranties or guarantees, plaintiff’s only relief lies against his employer,” writes the company in its response.
Additionally, the company writes that Lopez “concedes in his complaint that the gloves were only advertised as ‘cut-resistant,’ not ‘cut-proof.’”
“Plaintiff’s inability to identify any specific warranties or guarantees, coupled with his mere ‘belief’ that such warranties or guarantees even existed, is insufficient …” continues the company.
Glove Coaters also claims that Lopez’s only “cause of action lies against his employer, not the manufacturer of the gloves,” due to regulations established by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
“OSHA regulations place all responsibility for selecting the appropriate hand protection for the relative task on plaintiff’s employer,” writes the company. “… There are no OSHA standards governing the manufacture of cut-resistant gloves, only their use and selection by the employer. Therefore, as a matter of law, OSHA mandates that plaintiff’s employer—and not defendant—has the duty to research and select the appropriate gloves for plaintiff’s work.”
In response to Lopez’s charges of a marketing defect in the gloves, Glove Coaters writes, “Plaintiff cannot establish the ‘causal link’ between defendant’s actions and Plaintiff’s injury because it was plaintiff’s employer’s duty to select the appropriate gloves for plaintiff’s work.”
In conclusion, the company writes, “[Lopez] fails to plead with particularity the underlying basis for his complaint—namely that [Glove Coaters] purposefully or mistakenly misrepresented the quality and durability of its goods.”
Lopez had alleged that he was assisting co-workers with a glass-cutting project at the company and was on the receiving end of the glass cutting machine when, “as the glass was ejected from the cutting mechanism, it collided with [his] cut-resistant glass-handling glove.”
Lopez argued that Glove Coaters advertised the glove he was wearing as “a cut-resistant glove safe for glass handling” and that the glove was “defectively designed and fraudulently marketed [as a] safety glove.”