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2006 Fall Torts Cases Klass UofM


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Vosburg v. Putney
Facts: Putney lightly kicks Vosburg in the classroom; Vos ultimately develops an infection on leg. Rule: P must show either D had unlawful intention to produce harm or that he committed an unlawful act.
Garratt v. Dailey
Facts: Brian Dailey (D) pulled a chair out from under Ruth Garratt (P) as she began to sit down in it. Rule: The intent necessary for the commission of a battery is present when the person acts, knowing, with substantial certainty, that the harmful contact will occur.
Fisher v. Carrousel
Facts: Fisher (P), while in line at a buffet luncheon, had his plate snatched from his hands by an employee of the motor hotel (D), who also insulted him. Rule: Battery - no reqmt of physical contact with body, if there's contact with something attached to or closely identified with the body (offensive in nature).
Leichtman v. WLW Jacor
Facts: After Cunningham (D) encouraged another talk show host to blow cigar smoke in Leichtman's (P) face, Leichtman (P), an anti-smoking advocate, filed a battery suit against Cunningham (D) and radio station WLW (D). Rule: Battery - contact that is offensive to a reasonable sense of personal dignity is offensive contact.
O'Brien v. Cunard Steamship Co.
Facts: immigrant got vaccine on ship w/o consent, but didn't act in 'non-consenting' way. Rule: Consent can be made non-verbally (actions, reasonably construed).
Read v. Coker
Facts: Workmen Muster Around Fired Shop Owner. Rule: Assault = threat of violence exhibiting an intention to assault (i.e., do physical violence to another), coupled with a present ability to carry the threat to execution. (Mere words/threats do not constitute assault.)
Beach v. Hancock
Facts: Hancock (D) aimed a gun at Beach (P) who was 50ft away, and snapped the trigger. Rule: Assault = unlawful attempt, coupled with an apparent present ability, to place another in apprehension of imminent harm.
Whittaker v. Stanford
Facts: Sanford (D), leader of a religious sect, convinced Whittaker (P), a sect member, to return to the United States from Syria aboard the sect's yacht, but upon arrival in the United States, would not let her disembark. Rule: False imprisonment - not necessary to apply physical force to the person, only that person be physically constrained.
Rougeau v. Firestone
Facts: Rougeau (P) was asked to wait in his employer's guardhouse during an investigation. He sued the employer for false imprisonment when it was determined he had nothing to do with the suspected theft. Rule: False imprisonment = intentional confinement of another within boundaries set by the actor; and P must not consent to this.
Sindle v. New York City
Facts: Sindle (P), a 14-year-old boy, was injured when he fell under the wheels of an Authority (D) school bus when he attempted to climb out after the bus driver locked the doors to prevent vandals from escaping. Rule: A person falsely imprisoned is not relieved of the duty of reasonable care for his own safety in extricating himself from the unlawful detention.
Coblyn v. Kennedy’s
Facts: Coblyn (P) was detained by an employee of Kennedy's, Inc. (D) who suspected Coblyn (P) of shop lifting; employee doesn't identify himself. Rules: (1) If a man is restrained of his personal liberty by fear of a personal difficulty, it amounts to false imprisonment. (2) If shopkeeper has reasonable grounds to believe person stole or is attempting to steal goods he may detain person in a reasonable manner for a reasonable time.
State Rubbish v. Siliznoff
Facts: The Association (D) threatened to beat up Siliznoff (P), destroy his truck, or force him out of business unless he joined the Association (D) and paid dues to it. Rule: Liability (Assault) = in the absence of any privilege, one intentionally subjects another to the mental suffering incident to serious threats to his physical well-being, whether or not the threats are made under such circumstances as to constitute a technical assault.
Barton v. Bee Line
Facts: 15-year-old alleges rape; D claims consent. Minority Rule: minor female has no civil cause of action against a male with whom she willingly has intercourse, if she knows the nature and quality of her act. Majority Rule: Most courts allow for recovery even if there is consent of a minor.
Bang v. Charles T Miller Hospital
Facts: A doctor (D) performed a prostate operation on Bang (P) and, during this operation he severed Bang's (P) spermatic cords. P consented to operation, but question of consent to cut spermatic cords should go to jury. Rule: In non-emergency contexts, consent must be informed. Allows an exception for emergencies.
Kennedy v. Parrot
Facts: During an appendectomy doctor punctures ovarian cysts not authorized earlier. Rule: Where patient cannot give consent, and no other person nearby who is authorized to give consent, general consent is given to the doctor to remedy conditions proximate to the original incision which, in the doctor's professional judgment, should be remedied at the time of the procedure.
Hackbart v. Cinn Bengals
Facts: NFL player sustains neck injuries from intentional late hit. Rule: Participation in pro football does not establish implied consent to ALL conduct/injuries that occur on playing field.
Courvoisier v. Raymond
Facts: D, trying to chase out burglars w/ his gun; accidentally shoots cop who had come to the scene, thinking that the officer was going to attack him. Rule: An action of force is justified by self-defense whenever the circumstances are such as to cause a reasonable man to believe that his life is in danger or that he is in danger of receiving great bodily harm and that it is necessary to use such force for protection.
Katko v. Briney
Facts: The Brineys (D) placed a "shotgun trap"/spring gun in one of the bedrooms of a house owned, but not occupied, by them, and Katko (P) was injured by this trap when he broke into the house. Rule: Reasonable force may be used to protect property, but not such force as will take human life or inflict great bodily harm.
Vincent v. Lake Erie Transportation Co
Facts: D's ship unloading at P's dock when a storm arose and was too dangerous to leave; mooring lines were continually replaced as they chafed; dock damaged. Holding: D had conditional privilege only. Liable because ship was saved at expense of dock. Rule: When P's property rights are suspended and D is privileged to use P's property, D is obligated to pay for any damage that results.
Ploof v. Putnam
Facts: Plaintiff docked to defendant’s dock and defendant’s servant cut him off, causing damage. Rule: Necessity justifies the entry upon the land of another.
Hoyt v. Jeffers
Facts: Hoyt (P) claimed that a saw mill owned by Jeffers (D) emitted sparks which set fire to Hoyt’s hotel and destroyed it. Rule: Circumstantial evidence is admissible to show causation, and it is for the jury to decide how much force and weight it is to be given to such evidence.
Smith v. Rapid Transit Inc.
Facts: Smith (P) claimed that a bus had forced her car off the road causing injuries. Rapid Transit Inc. (D) denied that it was its bus which was involved. Rule: Causation cannot be shown by mathematical probabilities in the absence of other convincing evidence.
Summers v. Tice
Facts: Summers (P) sued two defendants for personal injury caused when both defendants shot in his direction. Rule: When two or more persons by their acts are possibly the sole cause of a harm, and the plaintiff has introduced evidence that one of the two persons is culpable, then the defendant has the burden of proving that the other person was the sole cause of the harm.
Ybarra v. Spangard
Facts: Patient is under anesthesia when one or more of a number of care givers harms him. Rule: Where P is unconscious to receive medical treatment and injured by negligence, and a range of actors could have caused injury, D's bear the burden of disproving their own tort liability. Simply because P is unable to identify single culpable actor does not preclude remedy.
Sindell v. Abbott Laboratories
Facts: Ps sued manufacturers of drug DES because of injuries they allegedly suffered as a result of exposure to DES in utero. Rule: If P joins a substantial share of market representing production, then the burden of proof shifts to the Ds to prove they did not supply the product to the P. If D did not make such as showing, then each is liable for the proportion of their market share as opposed to the full extent of the injuries (rejected Summers).
Dillon v. Twin State Gas & Electric Co.
Facts: Boy electrocuted by wire he grabbed as he started to fall off the bridge. Rule: - Two independent causes of harm, - one is negligent and the other is not negligent, and - occurring at approx the same time, - the negligent actor is not liable if the non-negligent cause would've caused all of the injury independently.
Kingston v. Chicago
Facts: Two fires join 900 feet from the property and destroy it. Rule: - Two negligent causes of harm, - both Òs can be held liable for the entire harm.
Brown v. Kendall
Facts: Defendant is beating back fighting dogs with stick and causes a harm to plaintiff who brings action of trespass (present-day battery). Rule: If the conduct is accidental, Ò is only liable if he failed to exercise ordinary care.
Fletcher v. Rylands
Facts: Defendant builds a reservoir on the property, water seeps through and floods the mine below plaintiff’s property. Rule: - A party who brings upon his land for his own purposes - something likely to do mischief if it escapes - must keep it in at his peril, and - is liable for all damages caused by its escape.
Rylands v. Fletcher
Facts: Defendant builds a reservoir on the property, water seeps through and floods the mine below plaintiff’s property. (Appeal of Fletcher v. Rylands) Rule: Ã is strictly liable for any unnatural uses of his land, or for unnatural things brought upon his land.
United States v Carroll Towing Co.
Facts: During WWII in NY harbor, the barge breaks loose from the tug when bargee was not on board. Rule: Hand formula: B < PL == Burden (B) is less than Probability (P) times Injury (L).
Washington v. Louisiana Power & Light Co.
Facts: man w/ 21ft. antenna touches power line, dies. Rule: even in the presence of a grave risk, a very low probability and a very high burden of prevention will release the party from liability for failing to protect the injured party.
Weirum v. RKO Gen'l, Inc.
Facts: Radio listeners scramble in cars, follow celebrity to win cash, crash, injuries. Rule: The mere fact that a particular kind of accident has not happened before does not show that such an accident is one which might not reasonably have been anticipated (foreseeable).
Martin v. Herzog
Facts: Defendant car driving around a bend on the wrong side hits plaintiff buggy without lights on. Rule: An unexcused violation of a statutorily required safety standard is per se negligence (though not contributory/comparative negligence unless causation is proved).
Tedla v. Ellman
Facts: Plaintiffs struck by negligent defendant driver while walking on the side of the road (statute). Rule: Violation of a safety statute will raise a presumption of negligence per se, but you will have an opportunity to rebut that presumption w/ evidence that circumstances demanded disobedience.
Brown v. Shyne
Facts: Defendant offered chiropractic treatment to plaintiff without a license so plaintiff sues in negligence for harm of paralysis that resulted. Rule: Violation of a statute is not always recognized by courts as establishing negligence per se. The injury must follow from the neglect. Only if the neglect established by the violation of the statute is found to CAUSE the injury will liability be found.
Trimarco v. Klein
Facts: shower door shatters in apt, injures tenant. Rule: When proof of an accepted practice is offered w/ evid that Ò conformed to it, it may establish due care. Conversely, coupled w/ evid that Ò ignored/departed from common practice, it may estab negl.
The TJ Hooper
Facts: P sues tug owner for lack of radio on board tug boat, causing the barge to be destroyed in unexpected weather. Rule: Custom doesn't always determine reasonability of standard of care, especially with safety equipment of relatively low cost. "There are precautions so imperative that even their universal disregard will not excuse their omission."
Helling v. Carey
Facts: Glaucoma test wasn't done on under 40 patient who then went blind from glaucoma. Custom was to not do test for people under 40. Rule: Holmes: "What is usually done may be evidence of what ought to be done, but what ought to be done is fixed by a standard of reasonable prudence, whether it is usually complied with or not."
Boyer v. Iowa High School Athletic Association
Facts: Woman sitting on the bleachers that collapse, causing her to fall 8 ft. Rule: Two requirements for res ipsa loquitur: (1) Exclusive control/mgmt by Ò of instrumentality that caused injury; and (2) occurrence is such as wouldn't ordinarily happen if reasonable care had been used.
Shutt v. Kaufman’s Inc.
Facts: Woman sat down on a chair and it bumped a shelf, causing a metal shoe stand fell and hit her on the head. Rule: When facts indicate that the injury could have happened in the absence of negligence, res ipsa loquitur is not applicable.
City of Louisville v. Humphrey
Facts: Drunk man taken to prison and found dead the next morning with brain damage and bruise to eye as if someone hit him. No direct evidence that any of the prison employees, or the fellow prisoners, inflicted the injuries on the deceased. Rule: Court - no res ipsa loquitur because, though the evidence came close to creating inference that decedent rec'd his injuries while in custody of city jail, it fell short of justifying res ipsa.
Rowland v. Christian
Facts: social guest in D's apartment injures hand on broken faucet handle. Rule: Generally: trespasser/licensee/social guest are obliged to take premises as they find them. THIS COURT: everyone (in CA jurisdiction) gets reasonable care, not the gen'l rule.
Erie R. Co. v. Stewart
Facts: The driver of a car gets hit by a train because he didn't stop, look, and listen. He relies on the watch guard who is normally there, but wasn't there then. Rule: No gen'l duty to rescue, but one can create a reliance-based duty through actions that is enforceable if you breach it⬦
Tubbs v. Argus
Facts: Guy crashes car and leaves injured date behind who sues on additional injuries from his failure to help. Rule: Ï received injuries from "instrumentality under control of Ò" = sufficient relationship to impose duty to render reasonable aid/assistance (whether or not injury was due to Ò's negligence). No recovery for injuries from accid, but yes for add'l injuries from failure to rescue.
Tarasoff v. Regents of University of CA
Facts: Psychologist is alleged to have known that his client threatened harm to a particular individual and warned the police who detained and released client. Client killed the individual. Rule: When therapist in fact determines, or under applicable professional standards or reasonably should have determined, that a patient poses a serious danger of violence to others, he bears a duty to exercise reasonable care to protect the foreseeable victim of that danger.
Ford v. Trident Fisheries
Facts: Ï’s intestate fell off fishing boat and à was negligent by having lifeboat accessible but with only one oar. Ã's negl didn't proximately cause Ï's death; man would've died anyway. Rule: Negligence, while present, was not cause of man's death.
Lyons v. Midnight Sun Transportation
Facts: Ï-decedent pulls out in front of Ò's truck and is hit broadside, asserts negligence that truck was speeding and shouldn't have swerved. Rule: Passes actual causation ("but for") test; even if the Ò had not been negligent, the accident would have occurred; even though there was negligence and wrongful conduct, not connected to actual harm.
Cahoon v. Cummings
Facts: wrongful death; P alleges that D-doctors negligently failed to diagnose/treat decedent's esophogeal cancer. Rule: Upon a showing of causation, damages are proportional to the increased risk attributable to D's negligent act or omission.
Palsgraf v. Long Island R.R.
Facts: Man drops box of fireworks as conductor tries to pull him onto train; fireworks go off and injure woman when scales tip over on her. Rule: Cardozo (majority) - no negligence from perspective of Palsgraf; negl only from persp of man w/ package. Andrews (dissent) - negligent act exists; question = causation and foreseeability. Today most courts identify with the proximate cause analysis in Andrews dissent, but tend to draw the line more closely, like Cardozo.
Solomon v. Shuell
Facts: Plaintiff finds plainclothes cops arresting someone and thinks person is in danger so he goes to help; shot by cops. Question of contributory negligence by rescuer (involving himself in arrest situation). Rule: No requirement that the actual rescuer know in fact that the rescuee is in peril. Requirement: would a reasonable person-rescuer think that the rescuee was in peril?
Marshall v. Nugent
Facts: Plaintiff passenger riding in a car and another vehicle in his lane causes car to swerve off the road; plaintiff walks up hill to warn oncoming and is struck by third party. Rule: Proximate cause: sufficient relationship between negligence and harm; reasonably foreseeable result of the negligence itself.
Gorris v. Scott
Facts: sheep washed overboard on trans-ocean voyage b/c not in 'regulation' cages fixed to deck. Rule: Negligence due to violation of a statute is only recoverable if the harm suffered is the harm that the statute is designed to protect against.
Watson v. Kentucky and Ind. Bridge and Ry.
Facts: Railroad negligently spills gas and third party throws match to cause explosion. Rule: If wasn't intentional, then liability for RR Co. (accidents are foreseeable). If was intentional, no liability for RR Co. (b/c wasn't foreseeable; malicious acts are not foreseeable. BUT there are exceptions in certain cases where intentional negl IS foreseeable, therefore there is liability -- leaving keys in running car w/ doors locked).
Waube v. Warrington
Facts: Mother Sees Child Killed through Window. Rule: Zone-of-Danger Rule: Ï can only recover for NIED if they are in the zone of danger and fear for their own personal safety.
Dillon v. Legg
Facts: Mother at Scene Sees Child Injured. Rule: Bystander can recover, even if outside of the zone of danger, if their injury is reasonably foreseeable, per three "Dillon Factors": 1) whether Ï was near the accident; 2) whether shock resulted from "sensory and contemporaneous observance" of accident; 3) whether Ï and victim are closely related.
Thing v. La Chusa
Facts: Mother Arrives at Scene After, Sees Injured Child. Rule: Ï can recover from emotional distress as a bystander if Ï: (1) is closely related to the victim; (2) is present at the scene at the time the event occurs and is aware that it is causing injury to the victim; (3) suffers, as a result, emotional distress beyond that which would be anticipated in a disinterested witness (and which is not an abnormal response to the circumstances).
Burgess v. Superior Court
Facts: Dr's negligence causes injury to newborn during delivery (mother fully sedated); mother suffers ED when told afterward. Rule: Ï *can* recover for NIED where a duty of care is owed to the Ï. (Mother and child are one; duty of care owed to child is same as owed to mother b/c are one.)
Feliciano v. Rosemar Silver Co.
Facts: No LossOfConsort for Unmarried Couples Rule: Establishes a bright-line test (court didn't want to use a "stable and significant" test), very efficient. Unmarried persons who are cohabitants may not recover for loss of consortium.
Borer v. American Airlines, Inc.
Facts: Children bringing loss of consortium claim for accident to their mother are denied. Rule: A child cannot recover for the loss of its parent's consortium. Loss of consortium is only a cause of action for married couples where the injury is sustained by one of the spouses.
Werling v. Sandy
Facts: viable fetus is stillborn due to negligence of D. Rule: For a fetus that is viable at the time of the injury, but that dies as a result of the injury, there would be a cause of action if death hadn't ensued. There *is* an action for wrongful death for fetuses that are viable at the time of the injury.
Turpin v. Sortini
Facts: Husband/wife sue on behalf of children for negl for failing to inform them that their children would very likely be totally deaf. Rule: No recovery for gen'l damages (rearing expenses); but yes recovery for add'l/special damages (equipment, treatments, etc.).
Fassoulas v. Ramey
Facts: "Wrongful Birth" - botched vasectomy results in foreseeable birth of deformed children (hist of deform in family). Rule: No recovery for birth of normal child or normal rearing expenses for "defective" child. Yes recovery for special rearing expenses for "defective" child.
Barber Lines v. Donau Maru
Facts: Oil spill by à prevented Ï’s ship from docking at its intended berth, leading to extra costs for the Ï. Rule: Ïs cannot recover for negligently-caused pure economic damage/loss unless they fall into a class of exception that the court has created (e.g., accompanying physical harm, intentionally caused harm, defamation, injurious falsehood, etc.).
J'Aire Corp. v. Gregory
Facts: Ï-lessee restaurant was closed down while contractor undertook construction work pursuant to contract with lessor. Rule: Ï can recover for pure econ loss if the risk of harm is foreseeable, and foreseeability is based on the 6-part test: 1) extent trans intended to affect Ï, 2) foreseeability of harm, 3) degree of cert that P suffered inj, 4) closeness of Ò's conduct & Ï's injury, 5) moral blame f/ Ò's conduct, 6) policy of preventing future harm.
People Express Airlines, Inc. v. Consolidated Rail Corp.
Facts: Train car spilled chemicals and forced the surrounding area to be evacuated; plaintiff was a commercial airline that had its business interrupted by this evacuation. Rule: Ï can recover for pure economic damages if they belong to an identifiable class that Ò knows or has reason to know are likely to suffer from Ò's negligent conduct, where that negligent conduct is the proximate cause of the damages.
Butterfield v. Forrester
Facts: Defendant left a pole obstructing the highway which the plaintiff struck while riding horse very fast. Rule: Ï cannot recover for negligence if ]Ï fails to use reasonable care. (Standard of care is the same for both Ï and Ò.)
Davies v. Mann
Facts: Plaintiff was negligent for leaving his donkey along the highway where it would not be able to get out of the way of traffic quickly enough; yet, the court finds the defendant liable for the plaintiff's loss, because the defendant came down the highway at 'a smartish pace' and struck and killed the donkey. Rule: Last Clear Chance Rule – if we think one party is in a position to observe the actions of the other party or one party acts after the other party, we want to give the second acting party the responsibility to avoid the harm.
Meistrich v. Casino Arena Attractions, Inc.
Facts: Defendant ice-skating rink departed from usual procedure, i.e. departed from custom, making the ice more slippery than usual. Rule: Except in cases of 'express assumptions of the risk' and 'primary assumptions of the risk' (dangerous activities), assumption of the risk doesn't exist as a defense and liability is based on Ò's negligence and Ï's comparative negligence.
Knight v. Jewett
Facts: player injured in casual game of touch football. Rule: A participant in an active sport breaches a legal duty of care to other participants only if the participant intentionally injures another player or engages in conduct that is so reckless as to be totally outside the range of the ordinary activity involved in the sport.
Peters v. Archambault
Facts: House encroaches on neighbor's lot, was there when both Ï and Ò bought lots, Ï did survey, found out about encroachment, removal would be very expensive. Rule: A landowner is entitled to mandatory equitable relief to compel removal of a structure significantly encroaching on his land, even though the encroachment was unintentional or negligent and the cost of removal is substantial.
Adams v. Cleveland Cliffs
Facts: 55 Ïs suing mine for nuisance (dust, vibration), dust doesn't violate Fed Air Qual stds. Rule: Recovery for trespass is available only upon proof of an unauthorized direct or immediate intrusion of a physical, tangible object onto land over which the Ï has a right of exclusive possession. [Most jurisdictions follow this lead and define pollution as a nuisance, not a trespass. The law of trespass does not cover airborne particulate, noise, or vibrations. These irritants are considered a nuisance.]
Davis v. Georgia-Pacific
Facts: D built paper plant near P's house; P offended by vibrations, dust, gases, odors, smoke, etc. Rule: In an action for damages for trespass, a P's right to recovery may not be determined by weighing the *utility of D's conduct* against the rights of P to enjoyment of his property. Utility of D's conduct irrelevant.
Waschak v. Moffat
Facts: Ï has home near mines, escaping gases discolored house paint, Ïs sued. Rule: Where the utility of a defendant's conduct outweighs the gravity of harm it causes, and plaintiff's injury did not result from defendant's intentional conduct, no liability may be imposed for the maintenance of a nuisance.
Jost v. Dairyland Power Cooperative
Facts: farmers sustained crop damage/loss of property value due to gases from coal-burning power plant. Rule: a continued invasion of the Ï's interests by non-negligent conduct, when the actor knows of the nature of the injury inflicted, is an intentional tort. The fact that the injury is administered non-negligently is not a defense to liability.
Boomer v. Atlantic Cement Co.
Facts: cement plant, neighboring houses suffer from noise, vibrations. Rule: In an action to abate a nuisance, a court may award permanent damages in lieu of an injunction where there is a marked disparity in economic consequences between the effect of an injunction and the effect of the nuisance.
Spur Industries, Inc. v. Del E. Webb Development Co.
Facts: Long-standing cattle feed lot that emits noxious and harmful odors comes to be surrounded by a residential development. Rule: Although the operation of a business, lawful in the first instance, but which becomes a nuisance by reason of a nearby residential area, may be enjoined in an action brought by the developer of the residential area, the developer must indemnify the business for a reasonable amount of the cost of moving or shutting down.
Turner v. Big Lake Oil Co.
Facts: salt-water reservoirs from oil drilling flooded land and streams w/ salt-water over several miles. Rule: Ò is strictly liable for any unnatural uses of his land, or for unnatural things brought upon his land. (In TX, drilling oil and storing byproduct waste water is *natural*.) (NOTE: TX one of few states that specifically limits strict liability to blasting activities⬦)
Siegler v. Kuhlman
Facts: fuel tanker truck overturns, leaks gasoline, woman drives into spill, killed by fire. Rule: Òs are strictly liable: hauling gasoline is abnormally dangerous, meets the first two/three factors in the 2d Rstmt test; abnormally dangerous activities (RS 519/520): harm has to be the type that makes the activity abnormally dangerous; considerations FOR THE COURT to decide as a matter of law whether the activity is abnormally dangerous. All not required, can be weighed unequally.
Foster v. Preston Mill Co.
Facts: mink farmer suffers loss of mink to infanticide resulting from blasting making mother mink nervous. Rule: Ï can recover in strict liability for harm caused by an ultra hazardous activity if the type of harm is of the kind that makes the activity ultra hazardous. (Here: Not a harm w/in the risk⬦tied in w/ proximate cause.)
Winterbottom v. Wright
Facts: Ï in contract w/ Postmaster Gen'l, after delivery of coach, Ò failed to maintain coaches properly, P injured. Rule: Ï could NOT recover b/c there was no privity between Ï and Ò. Court found that a prerequisite to products liability was privity of contract between the consumer and the manufacturer, i.e. no liability absent some direct contractual relationship.
MacPherson v. Buick Motor Co.
Facts: wooden car wheel (installed by dealer, made by 3d-party mfr [not Buick]) disintegrated, driver injured. Rule: Eliminates privity rule of Winterbottom. The manufacturer of a finished product owes a duty of care and vigilance to the user of that product, even where the user is not the immediate purchaser, if such use is reasonably certain to place the user in danger when the product is negligently made.
Escola v. Coca Cola Bottling Co.
Facts: Ï was a waitress, serving glass bottle of coke; bottle broke, injuring her hand. Rule: Traynor's concurrence: Strict product liability allows P not to have to prove case – if mfr allows its products to go to market, to be used by Ps who will not do their own inspection, mfr should be held absolutely liable ("creates an irrebuttable presumption that a defective product is strictly liable").
Henningsen v. Bloomfield Motors, Inc.
Facts: new car, express warranty term linked to date dealer bought from mfr (not date consumers bought it), car was defective, crashed when brakes applied, Ï's wife injured, car total loss. Rule: Foreseeable users of the product including the purchaser can sue on the implied warranty. Warranty cannot be waived by the purchaser when it's against public policy.
Union Pump v. Allbritton
Facts: worker injured when crossing a pipe rack after pump fire, sued on grounds that pump fire caused her injuries. Rule: Legal cause is not established if the Ò's conduct or product does no more than furnish the condition that makes the Ï's injury possible. Producing cause is a limit on strict liability for defective products. When the connection between the product and the harm is too attenuated, remedy will not be granted⬦
Vandermark v. Ford Motor Co.
Facts: new car, six-wks later, accid b/c car defective, driver/sister injured. Rule: Circumstantial evidence is admissible to prove strict product liability. An automobile *manufacturer* is strictly liable when someone is injured as a result of a defect that was present in the car it manufactured when the manufacturer's authorized dealer delivered it to the purchaser. An automobile *dealer* is strictly liable in tort for personal injuries resulting from defects in cars it sells.
Murray v. Fairbanks Morse
Facts: worker injured when fell thru electrical component to concrete floor 10ft below (he's 5% at fault). Rule: Comparative causation is a limit on the recovery that the Ï can make in a strict liability. Jury can take into account the Ï's conduct in contributing to its harm in strict liability context and reduce recovery appropriately.
Sheckells v. AGV Corp.
Facts: Ï's son injured on motorcycle while wearing helmet, had warning label, but argument whether warning was adequate. Rule: There is no duty resting upon the mfr or seller to warn of a product-connected danger which is obvious or of which the person who claims to be entitled to a warning knows, should know, or should, in using the product, discover.
MacDonald v. Ortho Pharmaceutical Corp.
Facts: Injury b/c birth control mfr failed to warn consumer directly re: risks. Rule: Std rule w/ pharma: mfr warns Dr, Dr warns patient. Birth control pills are special; "learned intermediary doctrine" does not apply. Compliance with a statute is evidence of reasonable care but does not preclude liability.
Anderson v. Owens-Corning Fiberglas Corp.
Facts: P wants failure to warn claim but D is trying to use a state of the art claim. D says it never knew of asbestos harm so that is why it never warned. Rule: With a warning, a defendant is either warning or not warning, so of course there is a reasonableness standard, but not like a negligence standard. Pg 483 RS(2nd) and pg 486 RS (third) RS §2. REVISE THIS...
Troja v. Black & Decker
Facts: Ï accid amputated thumb using radial arm saw; Ï had taken off base and fence, claimed that saw should have had a kill switch preventing operation w/o fence. Rule: For a personal injury plaintiff to state a prima facie defective design case, evidence that a reasonable alternative exists must be presented.
McCormack v. Hankscraft Co.
Facts: Toddler severely injured when scalding water spilled out of vaporizer (cap of vaporizer not attached in order to let steam escape). Rule: If a manufacturer knows or should know that the use of its product involves danger not obvious to the consumer in the use of the product, and the manufacturer fails to warn consumers of that danger, the manufacturer has violated his duty of due care to the consumer.
Heaton v. Ford Motor Co.
Facts: Pickup truck hit a five inch rock, which damaged the wheel assembly, while traveling at highway speeds. Rule: Where a product fails in circumstances not within the normal experience of a jury, a defect must be proven by evidence of what the reasonable expectations regarding the product are.
Soule v. General Motors Corp.
Facts: Driver-side floorboard of car was crushed inward during an accident. Rule: In establishing liability for a design defect in a complex product, the standard is the "risk-benefit" test, i.e., that the risk of danger in the design outweighs the benefits of the design.
Williams v. Bright
Facts: 70-yr-old father fell asleep at wheel, crashed, injured daughter-passenger, Ï refused medical treatment b/c of religious beliefs. Rule: Religious beliefs may be considered as a factor in determining whether Ï acted reasonably to mitigate losses, but the overriding test is reasonable person.
Coyne v. Campbell
Facts: auto-crash, whiplash injury, Ï gets medical care free of charge, Tr Ct refused to let Ï enter evid of medical costs (relating to free care). Rule: OK to not let evid of free-of-charge medical care for damages. Grounds: where damages are not punitive, not fair to make Ò pay for Ï's friends generosity. Healy v. Rennert - health insurance payments not admissible to reduce damage award (i.e., you CAN double-recover for these damages covered by benefits) b/c there IS consideration for these benefits; they aren't gratuitous.
Vautour v. Body Masters Sports Industries, Inc.
Facts: Plaintiff injured in leg press machine when it malfunctioned despite two safety stops. Rule: P doesn't need to prove *precisely* a safer alternative design to prove that the Ò's product is unreasonably dangerous, it's just one factor in the risk-utility balancing analysis.

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