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Another type of damage the victims could pursue is punitive damages. Punitive damages will directly affect the company. The victims can receive an additional award if the judge orders the defendant to pay punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended to punish the offender for “engaging in particularly wanton or reckless conduct that reflects a disregard for the interests of others” (UMUC Learning Resource/Tort Damages, class material). Punitive damages are often available in intentional torts but can also be available in gross negligence. In this case, the New Brand Design Inc.’s research and development team were aware of the issue of the Dualplex 360 overheating but chose to cover up the defect by including a disclaimer on the instruction manual. The warning cautioned consumers against leaving the Dualplex 360 plugged in after it was fully charged. Instead of redesigning and manufacturing a new product, the research and development team performed a cost-benefit analysis and decided the payouts from potential lawsuits would beless than the cost of remodeling and producing new laptops. NBD’s greatest defense is the Assumption of Risk defense. The Assumption of Risk defense “refers to a legal doctrine under which an individual is barred from recovering damages for an injury sustained when he or she voluntarily exposed him or herself to a known danger” (Justia, 2018). The defect of the Duplex 360 was covered with a warning in the instruction
DUALPLEX 360 CASE5manual. Instruction manuals are given with the product with the purpose of telling the customer how to properly use the product they purchased. General warnings about the product itself are usually found inside the instruction manual and provide Product Liability Prevention (PLP). PLP“...help[‘s] to create a defense if there is a problem and the product's safety is challenged by a plaintiff or a government agency” (Ross, n.d.). These PLPs can be brought into court under Assumption of Risk because the manual clearly states the product can overheat. A customer ignoring and claiming to never have read the manual has still legally accepted the risks associated with using the product. New Brand Design Inc (NBD) is incorporated in the state of Delaware, as such the legal constructs bind the actions of NBD irrespective of where it occurs. Although NBD would claim appropriate warning was provided to inform customers, as per the 100th General Assembly, Legislation effective through August 28, 2019 (§ 537.764. State of the art, defined) the burden ofproof on part asserting defense would prove that NBD was negligent of potential injuries and damages caused by the product. As such it is unlikely that NBD will win the claim as NBD