Articles Posted in Products Liability

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Ross Linert sustained severe injuries when Adrien Foutz, an intoxicated driver, struck Ross’s vehicle from behind, triggering a fuel-fed fire. At the time of the accident, Ross, a veteran police officer, was on patrol in a 2005 Crown Victoria Police Interceptor (CVPI) manufactured by Ford Motor Company. Ross and his wife, Brenda Linert, sued Foutz. The Linerts subsequently added product liability and malice claims against Ford. The jury returned a verdict in favor of Ford on all of the Linerts’ claims. The Linerts appealed, arguing that the trial court erred in failing to instruct the jury on Ohio Rev. Code 2307.76(A)(2), Ohio’s statute governing manufacturers’ postmarked duty to warn consumers of risks associated with a product that are not discovered until after the product has been sold. The appellate court ordered a new trial on the Linerts’ postmarketing failure-to-warn claim, concluding that the there was sufficient evidence to warrant a jury instruction on the Linerts’ postmarketing failure-to-warn claim. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the trial court properly refused to instruct on a postmarketing duty to warn in this case. View "Linert v. Foutz" on Justia Law

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Kenneth Schwering and his wife were driving a Ford when they were involved in a traffic accident. Schwering's wife was killed and Schwering was injured. Both were wearing their seatbelts. Schwering filed a complaint against Ford Motor Company and TRW Safety Systems, asserting products-liability and negligence claims. After the case proceeded to a jury trial, the trial judge declared a mistrial. Before the second trial began, Schwering filed a notice of voluntary dismissal without prejudice pursuant to Ohio R. Civ. P. 41(A)(1)(a). Schwering subsequently filed a lawsuit in the U.S. district court, asserting the same claims against the same defendants. The defendants moved to dismiss the federal action, arguing that Schwering's voluntary dismissal of the state action did not occur "before the commencement of trial" as required by Rule Civ. R. 41(A)(1)(a), and thus the dismissal could not have been "without prejudice." The Supreme Court accepted certification from the U.S. district court and held that a plaintiff may not voluntarily dismiss a claim without prejudice pursuant to Rule 41(A)(1)(a) when a trial court declares a mistrial after the jury has been empaneled and trial has commenced. View "Schwering v. TRW Vehicle Safety Sys., Inc." on Justia Law