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Eighth Circuit Upholds Requirement That Product Be Defective When It Left Defendant's Possession
EIGHTH CIRCUIT UPHOLDS REQUIREMENT THAT PRODUCT BE DEFECTIVE WHEN IT LEFT DEFENDANT'S POSSESSION
In Crawford v. Sears, No. 01-3954, (July 23, 2002), the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals reviewed judgment for the defendant in plaintiff's product liability claim. The plaintiff's offered testimony that the ladder buckled while being used. The plaintiff's expert stated that buckling was the result of a design defect. The district court judge held for the defendant because it held a lack of proof that the product left Sear's possession in a defective condition.
The Court of Appeals agreed noting it is not enough to say because an accident happened that means the product was defective. The court noted other possible causes of the failure were not ruled out. The ladder was at least 20 years old at the time of the incident. Res Ipsa could not be used because other potential failure causes were not ruled out. Judgment for the defendant was affirmed.
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