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Product Liability Tort Teasers

Page history last edited by abogado 5 years, 4 months ago

Product Liability Tort Teasers


Look at Wikipedia on Product Liability (very helpful)
Look at an outline of instructor's guide to Product Liability 

Use Restatement of Torts 402 (a), and analyze the following hypotheticals, post your analysis to each hypothetical below, using a separate set of paragraphs, and number for each hypothetical. There are Seven (7) hypotheticals. Good luck. Prof. J.


Section 402A, "Special Liability of Seller of Product for Physical Harm to User or Consumer," provides:


1. One who sells any product in a defective condition unreasonably dangerous to the user or consumer or to his property is subject to liability for physical harm thereby caused to the ultimate user or consumer, or to his property, if

(a) the seller is engaged in the business of selling such a product, and

(b) it is expected to and does reach the user or consumer without substantial change in the condition in which it is sold.

(2) The rule stated in Subsection (1) applies although

(a) the seller has exercised all possible care in the preparation and sale of his product, and

(b) the user or consumer has not bought the product from or entered into any contractual relation with the seller.



1. WedgeCorp manufactures golf clubs. The clubs have rubberized grips that golfers hold onto to swing them. Waldo Maillor bought his wife a set of clubs for her birthday. Cindy Maillor is an avid golfer and uses the clubs three times weekly at the local country club. When WedgeCorp manufactured the clubs, they used an improperly mixed glue that did not tightly bond the grips to the end of the clubs. While Cindy was swinging a five iron, the grip came loose and the club sailed through the air, striking Cindy’s golfing partner, Betty Payless, in the forehead.


2. Better Bovine, Inc. (BB) sells dairy cattle to farmers. These livestock are raised on one of BB’s pasturing farms outside of town. To control weeds, BB’s employees sprayed pasture land with herbicides. The cattle ate this grass and absorbed the chemicals into their systems. These chemicals reduced the cows’ milk production. Several farmers who purchased BB cows suffered substantial economic losses when the animals’ milk productivity plummeted.


3. Whopper Toys Corporation manufactures “Mr. Killjoy,” a combat doll. Mr. Killjoy comes equipped with sharp plastic swords that you can fit into his hands for mock battles. Whopper indicated on its packaging that his toy was not suitable for children under the age of six years. This was the only warning printed on the package. Franco Delgado bought a Mr. Killjoy figure for his four-year-old son, Francisco. While playing with Charlotte, a three-year-old neighbor girl, Francisco had the doll “attack” her. Its sword stabbed Charlotte through her nose, leaving a permanent scar.


4. Omar Muhammad is an accountant who lives in an apartment next to Joyce Madison. Omar sold his electric stove to Joyce for $200. Omar had never kept the electric heating elements on top of the stove particularly clean. In fact, they; were caked with grease and dirt. The first time Joyce turned on the stove, the heating elements caught fire and set Joyce’s long hair ablaze.


5. The Steak Out restaurant has a reputation for excellent steaks. One day it received a meat shipment from the Midwestern Meat Packing Company, a national meat distributor. When the shipment left Midwestern, it was shipped in a refrigerated truck. However, en route to the Steak Out, the truck’s refrigeration system broke down, but the driver never noticed. The meat spoiled. When the Steak Out’s employees unloaded the truck, they did not notice that the meat smelled bad. In fact, the meat did not smell much, if at all. Nevertheless, customers served from this shipment of beef became seriously ill from food poisoning.


6. Peter Breezeway bought a large screwdriver, made by the Hand Tool Manufacturing Company, from his local hardware store. Unknown to anyone, the screwdriver had a microscopic crack in its shaft. If excessive pressure were exerted on the screwdriver, it would snap. Peter used the screwdriver to pry open sealed crates that he received at work. One day, while prying open a crate, the screwdriver broke, severely cutting the tendons in Peter’s left hand.


7. Bartholomew Bendon works for the United States Department of Defense. One day he noticed that his paper-shredding machine made a loud grinding noise while operating. He opened the maintenance door, but could see nothing wrong with the parts inside. Bart continued using the machine, despite the horrible noise. Several co-workers complained to him about it. The grinding occurred because the machine was out of lubricating oil, which, according to the machine’s instruction manual, should have been checked at least monthly. No one had checked the oil level since the machine was purchased over a year ago. While Bart was using the machine, its gears froze up, and broke loose the paper-shredding blades. These lodged in Bart’s thighs, cutting him deeply.




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