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Case of the Day: Rote v. Zel Custom Manufacturing

The case of the day is Rote v. Zel Custom Manufacturing LLC (6th Cir. 2016). Troy Rote was a guest at the home of Gary and Judith Buyer, in Ohio. One of the other guests, Edward Grimm, brought a rifle and some ammunition with him. Grimm invited others to fire the rifle. When Rote loaded the rifle, but before the bolt was closed, the round exploded, injuring his hand. He brought a product liability action against Fabrica Militar Fray Luis Beltran, which is also known as Dirección General Fabricaciones Militares, or DGFM. He claimed that DGFM had manufactured the ammunition.

DGFM moved to dismiss on the grounds that it was an instrumentality of the Republic of Argentina and was immune from suit under the FSIA. The district court denied the motion to dismiss on the grounds that the commercial activity exception, 28 U.S.C. § 1605(a)(2), applied. DGFM appealed.
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