Case D, which discusses the malfunctioning of a component of a Zoom car, presents an issue common in the business world today. While product liability cases are not uncommon, successful cases for the plaintiffs often involve them having to prove many aspects of negligence and product liability – primarily duty of care, actual and proximate cause, and proof that the defendant is directly at fault for the plaintiff’s injuries. Because the doctrine of strict liability likely applies in this case, Daniel Boone does not need to prove that Zoom breached a duty of care, only that his injuries were a result of Zoom’s actions or negligence. The dispute in Case D between Daniel Boone, the plaintiff, and Zoom Car Company, the defendant, brings up several questions that need to be answered. Does Zoom owe Daniel Boone a duty of care? Was there a defect in manufacturing that supports a strict liability action? Was there a defect in design that supports a strict liability action? Was the faulty compass the actual cause of Daniel Boone’s injuries? Lastly, were Boone’s injuries foreseeable, in relation to the malfunctioning of the compass?
Given the details of the case, it is likely that Boone will allege that a defect in manufacture and a defect in design exist in the compass installed in his vehicle. While Zoom may not have known that the compass was faulty, all parties in the chain of distribution are liable for the defective compass and may be found strictly liable for Boone’s injuries. A defect in manufacture applies because Zoom, Corrigan Rulers Compasses, and/or Slide Rules, Inc. failed to properly test the compass before selling or installing it, failed to adequately assess the product’s quality, or failed to properly assemble the product. Additionally, a defect in design may be determined in Boone’s favor through the application of a risk-utility analysis. According to the textbook, when applying a risk-utility analysis to a case, the courts consider “the gravity of...
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