Memorandum - Tort Law

Topics: Strict liability, Tort, Contract Pages: 4 (1047 words) Published: June 14, 2014
TORT, PRODUCT LIABILITY, INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY, CRIMINAL and PROPERTY LAW CASE ANALYSIS TORT CASE OVERVIEW
LEGAL ASPECTS 535
PROFESSOR T. RICE

MEMORANDUM
TO:Professor T. Rice
FROM:
RE:Denny v. Ford Motor Company (Tort Law)
FILE:Court of Appeals of New York, 1995 639 N.Y.S. 2d 250 DATE:April 6, 2014

Conclusion:
Nancy Denny (Plaintiff) was driving her Ford Bronco II in June of 1986, when she slammed on the brakes to avoid hitting a deer that had walked in front of her vehicle. The plaintiff’s car rolled over and the plaintiff was severely injured. Plaintiff sued Ford Motor Company (defendant) for negligence, strict product liability, and breach of implied warranty under the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC). Jury trial returned a mixed verdict stating the Bronco was not defective therefore no tort liability was found. Jury did return a verdict that Ford had violated the implied warranty of merchantability resulting in a breach of contract. Final judgment rendered by Court of Appeals of New York in determining if tort action for strict product liability and contract action for implied warranty are the same in this case. “The jury was instructed to consider separately Ford’s tort liability for sale of an unreasonably dangerous product and contract liability for breach of the implied warranty of merchantability. Judgment for the plaintiff affirmed.” (Halbert & Ingulli, 2012) Issues:

The evidence of the plaintiff focused on the characteristics of sport utility vehicles specific to their being used off-road and in rugged terrain. Evidence was offered showing that small sport utility vehicles have a higher incident rate of roll over as compared to regular passenger cars. Ford Bronco’s stability index was low and Ford has amended the design of the Ford Bronco to achieve a higher stability index yet there was not a significant improvement in the stability factor. These stability factors resulted in instability and a higher risk to drivers who...
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