Under Texas law, the manufacturer of a component generally must indemnify a manufacturer of a finished product incorporating that component when a plaintiff sues the finished-product manufacturer alleging injury caused by the defective component. That was the theory under which a finished-product manufacturer brought our client, a component manufacturer, into a personal injury case.

But the finished-product manufacturer failed to consider the reciprocal indemnity obligation a finished-product manufacturer has to a component manufacturer when the plaintiff alleges injury caused by the finished product. Importantly, it’s the plaintiff’s allegations, not the finished-product manufacturer’s allegations, that trigger the indemnification duty.

In our case, the plaintiff alleged only that the finished product caused his injuries. After the finished-product manufacturer sued our client, the plaintiff amended his petition to add our client as a defendant but did not state there was any defect in our client’s component part. Our summary judgment motion, which demonstrated the plaintiff’s claim was time-barred and the lack of evidence of any actual defect in our client’s component, convinced the plaintiff to nonsuit his claims against our client.

Thus, the finished-product manufacturer was stuck with the plaintiff’s allegations that did not support its indemnification claim—in fact, the plaintiff’s allegations supported our client’s claim against the finished-product manufacturer. We moved for summary judgment on these grounds and ultimately negotiated a favorable recovery for our client from the finished-product manufacturer.