Law Questions Essay

Words: 844
Pages: 4

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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Knowing this, it is apparent that the risk utility test is more favorable to the defendants because it would prove to be costly for them "to procure expert witnesses to lay out a feasible alternative design that takes costs, safety, and functionality into account" (Tracy 2010). The Plaintiff failed to do so; therefore Ford argued the claims should not have been presented to a jury.

4) Can Branham still win this case? Explain.

Yes, Branham could still win the case, but he cannot base it solely on strict liability. Even though he had established a suit against Hale in the beginning, Branham would have a higher percentage of winning against Hale (Reed, et al., 2012). If it were not for Hale's negligence, the accident would not have occurred. According to Nathaniel Cade, "an average juror usually cannot understand that just because a vehicle rolled over that it is not necessarily defective." In the retrial, they should proceed under the risk utility test instead of the consumer expectation test (Reed, Pagnattaro, Cahoy, Shedd & Morehead, 2012) because at any accident cases, the safety of the vehicles will always come to question. In Branham v. Ford Motor Co., the "court leaves open the evidentiary question and does not address what standard or level of evidence is required to establish that a manufacture breached its duty