Imagine you are in an in-seat class on a cool, rainy evening, listening to the instructor’s lecture. Sensing that he is losing your interest, the instructor decides to enthrall you with what his baseball career could have been like… had he any talent!
He grabs a baseball and throws it over everyone’s heads through a window up on the third floor of the building. The ball hits a passerby, knocking him to the ground. The passerby now needs medical attention.
A fire department crew promptly responds. A rookie is driving the fire engine, and misjudges the distance needed to stop the truck. He crashes into the boiler room portion of the building, and, because of a design flaw in the boiler, an explosion erupts. The blast damages the building and causes injury to a few people nearby, including the poor victim of the baseball.
List and discuss the tort claims and defenses the instructor, the victim, and the fire truck driver may bring, even if you believe they may be unsuccessful.
Conduct research on the Internet to find a product liability case decided in the last five years. You may research court websites, cases publicized in the news, law review articles, etc. Share with the class the basic facts of the case, the theories of liability (for example, breach of contract, intentional tort, negligence, strict liability, etc.), and results (if any).
First, share your thoughts about the case you found and your opinion of product liability overall.
Next, consider that you have invented a product, and have become successful in mass-producing the product. What would you do to alleviate potential product liability claims? Incorporate two key terms from this week’s readings in all CAPS.