Pere v. Nuovo Pignone S.p.A.

This product liability defense matter involved the explosion of a starter turbine on an oil rig off the coast of Angola, West Africa. An engineer on the rig was killed in the explosion and his estate commenced a wrongful death action in New Orleans, La., where the decedent had resided. Mr. Canter defended the manufacturer of the turbine — Nuovo Pignone S.p.A. — and after extensive discovery proceedings, secured a dismissal of the complaint based upon the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act. The lower court's dismissal was upheld by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals which held that the commercial activity exception to the FSIA was inapplicable.