Law Questions Essay

845 Words Dec 17th, 2012 4 Pages
1) Since the injured plaintiff was not wearing a seatbelt, why is Ford being sued for failing to test the seatbelt sleeve?

In the case of Branham v. Ford Motor Co., the Plaintiff brought the case against Hale, the driver, and Ford because the company failed to test the seat-belt sleeve, even though he did not "seriously pursue the claim against Hale" (Reed, Pagnattaro, Cahoy, Shedd & Morehead, 2012). The case against Ford was based on "two product liability claims: one for not testing the seat belt and the other a design defect claim related to the vehicles tendency to rollover" (Reed, Pagnattaro, Cahoy, Shedd & Morehead, 2012). Branham alleged in his case that "Ford was negligent and strictly liable in failing to effectively test the
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Ford's reasoning for dismissal of the negligence claim was that since Branham did not prove "the seat-belt sleeve was in a defective condition unreasonably dangerous to its user" meant that it should have been dismissed as well. The court's decision to judge on the "handling and stability" design defect claim portion (Reed, Pagnattaro, Cahoy, Shedd & Morehead, 2012), this is true.

3) Is the consumer expectations test or the risk utility test more favorable to manufacturers? Explain.

In Branham v. Ford Motors Co., the risk utility test is more favorable to the manufacturer. The consumer expectations test is difficult to predict from a manufacturer's perspective because it is vague (Tracy 2010). Under the risk utility test, "a product is unreasonably dangerous and defective if the danger associated with the use of the product outweighs the utility of the product" (Reed, Pagnattaro, Cahoy, Shedd & Morehead, 2012). The consumer expectations test is used to determine whether the product is negligently manufactured or whether a warning on the product is defective. The courts noted that "the consumer expectations test was best suited for…