A Product is Defective in Design either (Consumer-Contemplation
if the product has failed to perform as safely as an ordinary
consumer would expect when used in an intended or
reasonably foreseeable manner, OR
Risk Benefit Test
if,in light of the relevant factors discussed below, the benefits
of the challenged design do not outweigh the risk of
danger inherent in such design.
FACTORS to consider.
The gravity of the danger posed by the challenged design,
The likelihood that such danger would occur,
The mechanical feasibility of a safer alternative design,
The financial cost of an improved design, and
The adverse consequences to the product and to the consumer that
would result from an alternative design.
Assures an injured Pl protection from products that either fall below
consumer expectations or on that, on balance, are not as safely
designed as they should be.
It allows a manufacturer to demonstrate the complexity of design and
trade-offs that are required in alternative designs.
The trier of facts must focus on the product and not the manufacturers
The Pl need not prove that the manufacturer acted unreasonably or
We flatly rejected the suggestion that recovery in a products liability
action should be permitted only if a product is more dangerous
than contemplated by the average consumer.
This would diminish the manufacturer's responsibility for injuries
caused by that product.
The jury might interpret the language as shielding a defendant from
liability so long as the product did not fall below the ordinary
Neither self-defining, nor susceptible to a single definition
applicable in all contexts.
Defective Product (Deviation from the Norm)
A defective product is one that differs from the manufacturer's
intended result or from other ostensibly identical units of the
same product line.
A product may be found defective in design if the plaintiff
demonstrates that the product failed to perform as safely as an
ordinary consumer would expect when used in an intended or
reasonably foreseeable manner.
A manufacturer is strictly liable for resulting injuries.
Is to relieve an injured plaintiff of many of the onerous evidentiary
burdens inherent in a negligence cause of action.
Pl must show that the injury was proximately
cause by the products design.
The burden shifts to the Df to prove the product is not defective.
Public Policy Risk Benefit Theory
The manufacturer should bear the burden of persuading the trier of
facts that its product should not be judged defective.
Defective in Design
If the plaintiff demonstrates that the product failed to perform as
safely as an ordinary consumer would expect when used
in an intended or reasonably foreseeable manner,
If the plaintiff proves that the product's design proximately caused
his injury and
the defendant fails to prove, in light of the relevant
factors discussed above, that on balance the benefits of the
challenged design outweigh the risk of danger inherent in such