Articles Posted in Products Liability

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The vehicle in which Plaintiff was riding was hit by a drunk driver. Plaintiff was wearing her seatbelt, and the airbags deployed properly, but Plaintiff sustained serious injuries. Plaintiff filed suit against Nissan Motor Company, Ltd. and Nissan North America, Inc. (collectively, Nissan) alleging that her injuries were caused by Nissan’s defectively designed restraint system and failure to warn her about the system’s limitations. The jury ruled in Plaintiff’s favor and found Nissan responsible for approximately $2.6 million in compensatory damages and $2.5 million in punitive damages. The Court of Appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the Court of Appeals on the issue of punitive damages, holding that an instruction permitting assessment of punitive damage against Nissan was inappropriate in this case. View "Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. v. Maddox" on Justia Law

Posted in: Products Liability

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Amanda Maddox and her then-husband, Dwyane Maddox, where traveling in their 2001 Nissan Pathfinder when their vehicle was hit by a drunk driver. Amanda sustained serious injuries in the accident. Amanda filed suit against the drunk driver’s estate, Nissan Motor Company, Ltd and Nissan North American, Inc. (collectively, Nissan) alleging that her injuries were caused by Nissan’s defectively designed restraint system and failure to warn her about the system’s limitations. A jury ruled in favor of Amanda and assessed thirty percent of the fault to the drunk driver and seventy percent of the fault to Nissan. The jury found Nissan responsible for $2.6 million in compensatory damages and $2.5 million in punitive damages. The court of appeals affirmed. At issue before the Supreme Court was whether a punitive damages jury instruction was proper. The Supreme Court reversed the court of appeals on that issue and vacated the trial court’s judgment assessing punitive damages against Nissan, holding that an instruction authorizing punitive damages against Nissan was inappropriate. View "Nissan Motor Co. v. Maddox" on Justia Law

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In this case the Kentucky Supreme Court considered whether to adopt the "economic loss rule," which prevents the commercial purchaser of a product from suing in tort to recover for the economic losses arising from the malfunction of the product itself. The case involved a claim to insurers for a damaged piece of machinery. The insurers sued the manufacturers to recover the amount paid, claiming several causes of action including negligence, strict liability, and negligent misrepresentation. The trial court held the economic loss rule barred the tort claims. The court of appeals affirmed the trial court's adoption and application of the rule. The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court, holding (1) the economic loss rule applies to claims arising from a defective product sold in a commercial transaction, and that the relevant product is the entire item bargained for by the parties and placed in the stream of commerce by the manufacturer; and (2) the economic loss rule applies regardless of whether the product fails over a period of time or destroys itself in a calamitous event, and the rule's application is not limited to negligence and strict liability claims but also encompasses negligent misrepresentation claims. View "Giddings & Lewis, Inc. v. Industrial Risk Insurers" on Justia Law