Product Liability Update

Product Liability Update

October 28, 2015

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 Federal Court Holds Proof of Testing of Proposed Alternative Design Not Required for Design Defect Claim, Evidence Plaintiff Ignored Defendant’s Warnings Did Not Establish He Was Sole Proximate Cause of Injury on Design Defect Claim But Did Negate Causation for Failure to Warn
  • Massachusetts Federal Court Holds (1) Market Share Data Can Prove Manufacturer’s Identity, (2) Awareness of Harm Determines Date of Injury Under Statute Abolishing Privity Requirement in Warranty Claims for Injuries After Specified Date, (3) Inherent Dangers of Product Insufficient to Show Design Defect, (4) Lack of Reasonable Foreseeability of Dangers Negates Design Defect and Failure-to-Warn Claims and (5) Lack of Proof of Ability to Identify Remote Purchaser Negates Post-Sale Duty to Warn
  • Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Holds (1) Expert Disclosure Adequately Revealed Alleged Fact as Basis for Disclosed Opinion Regarding Negligence But Not as Separate Opinion of Negligence by Itself, (2) Web Pages with Unknown Authors and Addressed to Laypersons Not Admissible as Learned Treatises, and (3) Trial Judge Erred in Prohibiting Cross-Examination of Expert With Record Used With Him on Direct
  • Massachusetts Federal Court Holds Plaintiff’s Claims Not Time-Barred Under Massachusetts Relation Back Doctrine Because Claims Against New Defendant Arose Out of Same Injury Alleged in Original Complaint
  • Excerpt:

    Massachusetts Federal Court Holds Proof of Testing of Proposed Alternative Design Not Required for Design Defect Claim, Evidence Plaintiff Ignored Defendant’s Warnings Did Not Establish He Was Sole Proximate Cause of Injury on Design Defect Claim But Did Negate Causation for Failure to Warn

    In Garfield v. Gorilla, Inc., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 85689 (D. Mass. July 1, 2015), a hunter setting up his tree stand was severely injured when the steel cables suspending the stand’s platform gave way and he fell approximately 20 feet to the ground.  The stand came with a full-body safety harness and both written and video safety instructions which repeated multiple times that “[u]sing your fall arrest device from the moment you leave the ground until the moment you return to the ground is the single most important action you can take to prevent a tree stand accident that could result in injury or death.”

    Download the October 2015 Foley Hoag Product Liability Update (pdf).