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Strict Liability for Retailer (Vandermark v. Ford Motor Co.p. 561)–Key is that Πgets to recover from a solvent ∆--Retailer and Manufacturer can work out between 31
themselves contractually who will ultimately be held liable. --Didn’t want Ford to be able to create a loophole--Exception when you follow government specified K (e.g. for a helicopter)--Exception for second-hand sellers--NO exception for commercial lessorsProduct Liability and Causation:Still must prove cause-in-fact and ProximateCause1.Must prove harm over and abovewhat would’ve been caused (if she had been wearing a seatbelt, for example)a.“Injuries are seperable”2.Stahlecker v. Ford: Defective Tire broke down in neighborhood where woman was raped—but Ford was NOT the proximate cause.Three Factors:1.Manufacturing defect“when the product departs from its intended design”2.Defective Design“when the foreseeable risks of harm posed by the product could have been reduced or avoided by the adoption of a reasonable alternative…”3.Inadequate Instruction:MANUFACTURING DEFECTS--All Πneeds to prove is malfunction—“This Coke Bottle exploded and a million didn’t.”--Burden on Πto show a malfunction--True Strict Liability. --Price v. General Motors:Burden on Πto show that it wasn’t poor maintenance but instead a malfunctionDESIGN DEFECTBarker v. Lull Engineering Co.Facts:Πwas hurt when using a lift loader in an incline. Principle: 1. Liability notlimited to situations where product is used in its intended manner, but instead “in the intended or a reasonably foreseeable manner.”1.Two Pronged Test:A. “Πmust demonstrate that the product railed to perform as safely as an ordinary consumer would expectwhen used in an intended or reasonably foreseeable manner ANDB.If in hindsight the jury determines that the product’s designed “embodies ‘excessive preventable danger’—Here ∆has the burden(in CA—minority) to prove that product should not be judged defective. Not a negligence standard because its objective, instead of subjective (?)Soule v. General Motors CorporationFacts:Woman not wearing seat-belt crashes into car that swerve in front of her and the toeboard goes in and crushes her ankles. She alleges that she could reasonably expect the car to hold up better.Principle:1. In situations where the even is beyond “common experience” or avehicle too complex/consumer’s don’t know, then: Risk-Utility Analysis--???Dreisonstok v. Volkswagenwerk:Van crash—“crashiability” could have been improved 32
at greater cost, but that’s not definitely what the consumers wanted here.--Risk-Utility Balancing in Design:“a Cadillac may be expected to include more in the way of both conveniences and the ‘crashiability worthiness’ than the economy car.”Camacho v. Honda Motor Co.