Product Liability Update

Product Liability Update

October 14, 2014

Foley Hoag's Product Liability Update is a quarterly update concerning developments in product liability and related law of interest to product manufacturers and sellers. If you find this update useful, please encourage your colleagues and contacts to also register with us on our Web site. As always, you can access all of our publications at www.foleyhoag.com

Included in this Issue:

  • Massachusetts Appeals Court Holds Trial Court Properly Instructed Jury on Absolute “Unreasonable Use” Warranty Defense Where Plaintiff Ignored Warning Label and Safety Manual and Had Been Drinking, and Instruction Adequately Explained Difference Between Defense and Comparative Negligence
  • Massachusetts Federal Court Grants Summary Judgment Against Claim Fire Truck Was Defectively Designed Due to Lack of Redundant Hose Restraints Where Plaintiff Offered No Expert Testimony Regarding Reasonableness of Design or Causation
  • Massachusetts Federal Court Holds Triathlon Participant’s Release and Indemnity Agreement Has Different Effects on Different Claims But Is Not Enforceable As To Claims For Gross Negligence
  • Massachusetts Federal Court Holds Complaint Alleging Defendant Breached Warranties by Selling Automobile Prone to Catching Fire Did Not State Claim for Unfair Trade Practices In Absence of Allegations Defendant Knew of Defect Prior to Plaintiff’s Loss, or Some Other Unfair Conduct

Excerpt:

Massachusetts Appeals Court Holds Trial Court Properly Instructed Jury on Absolute “Unreasonable Use” Warranty Defense Where Plaintiff Ignored Warning Label and Safety Manual and Had Been Drinking, and Instruction Adequately Explained Difference Between Defense and Comparative Negligence

In Rose v. Highway Equipment Co., 2014 Mass. App. LEXIS 108 (Aug. 27, 2014), plaintiff sued the manufacturer of a broadcast spreader—a “sander” that mounts on a truck chassis in order to disperse abrasives like sand and salt onto road surfaces—in Massachusetts superior court after he severely injured his hand while oiling the spreader’s chain.  Plaintiff asserted claims for negligence and breach of the implied warranty of merchantability (the Massachusetts near-equivalent of strict liability), arguing the spreader was defectively designed. Download the October 2014 Foley Hoag Product Liability Update (pdf).