XXI. Products Liability: Design Defect and Warning | Scott Soloway | March 09, 2018

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XXI. Products Liability: Design Defect and Warning

Original Creator: Jonathan Zittrain Current Version: Scott Soloway Show/Hide

Manufacturing defect cases can be straightforward: there’s an intended design, and then a variance that happens to make the product more dangerous, and the danger then materializes. But what if the design itself should be flawed? At least two approaches have emerged by which to judge a product’s design. The first, grounded in traditional warranty doctrine, asks whether consumer expectations are met by the product. The second, founded in traditional negligence doctrine, asks whether the product’s design well balances risks and benefits.

Which approach do you suppose a manufacturer would favor to make liability as unlikely as possible?

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    1. 1.1 Show/Hide More Soule v. General Motors Corp. -- "The Crumpling Toe Plate"
      Original Creator: Jonathan Zittrain Current Version: Scott Soloway
      When identifying possible design defects, should courts use tests other than the “consumer expectation” test? If so, under what circumstances would the alternative test be appropriate?
    2. 1.2 Show/Hide More Camacho v. Honda Motor Co. -- "The Motorcycle without Crash Bars"
      Original Creator: Jonathan Zittrain Current Version: Scott Soloway
      When applying a “reasonably safe” test, what factors should courts consider to determine whether a product design is reasonably safe?
    3. 1.3 Show/Hide More Linegar v. Armour of America, Inc. -- "The Incomplete Bulletproof Vest"
      Original Creator: Jonathan Zittrain Current Version: Scott Soloway
      Should the “reasonably safe” test require manufacturers to only sell products that have the safest design possible?
    4. 1.4 Show/Hide More Hood v. Ryobi America Corp. -- "The Saw with Removed Bladeguards"
      Original Creator: Jonathan Zittrain Current Version: Scott Soloway
      Should courts hold warning labels to be defective if they fail to include all the possible consequences of failure to heed the label? Should manufacturers have to accommodate foreseeable misuse when they design their products?
    5. 1.5 Show/Hide More Banks v. ICI Americas, Inc. -- "The Unlabeled Poison"
      Original Creator: Jonathan Zittrain Current Version: Scott Soloway
      Should evidence of a ‘reasonable alternative design', alone, sufficiently establish products liability?
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March 09, 2018

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Scott Soloway

business lawyer practicing law

Boston

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