In Maynard v. Snapchat Inc., No. S21G0555, 2022 Ga. LEXIS 68, the Supreme Court of Georgia reversed and remanded an appellate court decision that dismissed the popular mobile app Snapchat from suit. Plaintiffs Wentworth and Karen Miller (collectively, Plaintiffs) were struck by a driver who was allegedly using the popular social media app at the time of the accident. More specifically, the Plaintiffs alleged the driver was using the Snapchat “Speed Filter” feature, which displays and records your speed on camera. Users can then send video messages to friends that display the speed you were traveling at the time the video was taken. The Plaintiffs alleged that the app was negligently designed and Snapchat was at fault for promoting unsafe driving through use of the Speed Filter.
The Supreme Court of Utah recently found that an incorrect pre-construction geotechnical engineering report is a “defective design.” Thus, actions arising from an incorrect geotechnical report are appropriately governed by Utah’s Economic Loss Statute (Statute), Utah Code Ann. § 78B-4-513(1). Continue reading
In reviewing a ruling on a motion for summary judgment that found that a component manufacturer owed no duty to install safety features, the Supreme Court of Indiana answered a narrow question that shifts the landscape for product liability litigation pursuant to the Indiana Product Liability Act (IPLA). Brewer v. PACCAR, Inc., 2019 Ind. LEXIS 428, involved a wrongful death claim against PACCAR, Inc. (PACCAR), the manufacturer of a glider kit that is installed on semi-trucks. The glider kit comes with a variety of optional safety features, provided they are specifically requested by the semi-truck manufacturer that integrates the kit into its end product. Continue reading
In Kim v. Toyota Motor Corp., 6 Cal.5th 21 (Cal. 2018), the Supreme Court of California considered whether the trial court properly allowed the defendant to introduce evidence of industry custom and practice in defense of a strict product liability design defect case. The Supreme Court held that the evidence was relevant and admissible because it was introduced to address the feasibility and cost of alternative product designs, and not to show that the defendant acted reasonably. The court’s holding establishes that, while evidence of industry custom and practice is not admissible to prove or disprove fault in strict liability cases, it is admissible for other purposes, such as analyzing whether a product was defectively designed under the risk-benefit test. Continue reading