Arriaga v. CitiCapital Commercial Corp.


An employee was injured when his finger became entangled in a glue spreading machine. Originally, JLA Credit Corporation had entered into a finance lease with AVP, Ltd. Klor Machinery sold the machine to JLA who took title to the machine, paid for it, and leased it to AVP. Klor shipped the machine directly to AVP. While in possession of the machine, AVP removed one corner of a safety guard. Near the end of the lease term, AVP entered into an agreement to sell the machine to Orepak, Plaintiff’s employer. Orepark wired the purchase amount to CitiCapital Commercial Corp., the successor in interest to JLA. Orepak took possession of the machine, after which Plaintiff was injured. Plaintiff filed a Complaint, contending that CitiCapital was strictly liable for his injuries because CitiCapital was instrumental in placing the machine in the stream of commerce. CitiCapital prevailed on its motion for summary judgment, which was filed on the basis that it was a finance lessor only, and not part of the chain of commerce.


Affirmed. Strict liability does not apply to a party that only acts as a finance lessor and merely provides funding. Further, CitiCapital was outside the original chain of distribution and is not liable as an entity instrumental in placing the product in the stream of commerce.