Design Defects

News & Analysis as of

Florida Court Holds That Engineering Company Cannot be Held Liable for Third Party Injury Despite Open and Obvious Design Defect

Vanessa Cruz was tragically killed on July 15, 2008, in a single vehicle accident on the Florida Turnpike. Vanessa was the front seat passenger in a vehicle when the driver lost control, left the roadway, and struck the end...more

Homeowners Beware!! You May Not Recover For Subsequently Discovered Construction Claims After Signing Construction Claim Releases

Homeowner, David Belasco (“Belasco”) [1] bought a newly constructed Manhattan Beach residence in 2004 from the builder defendant Gary Loren Wells (“Wells”). In 2006, Belasco filed a complaint against Wells with the...more

Regulators Fine Automaker for Failing to Report Fatalities

Honda Hit with $70 Million Fine - We just might end up remembering 2014 as the year of fatal car accidents caused by auto defects. Automotive recalls totaled more than 60 million last year alone. GM recalled tens of...more

Florida Appeals Court Holds Contractor and Engineering Firm Entitled to Summary Judgment on Personal Injury Claim Where Owner...

The Florida Department of Transportation (“DOT”) hired Transportation Engineering, Inc. (“TEI”) to design, and D.A.B. Constructors, Inc. (“DAB”) to install, median guardrails along the Florida Turnpike. After the...more

Some Ideas About 3D Printing

The other day we read a thoughtful Bloomberg piece on 3D printing in the medical device context by a trio of Alston & Bird litigators. We’ve given you the link, but it might be behind a paywall. The article indicates...more

Florida’s Slavin Doctrine: Alive, Well and Expanding?

In a recent opinion, the Fourth District Court of Appeal appears to have expanded the Slavin doctrine in the context of design professional liability. In McIntosh v. Progressive Design and Engineering, Inc. (Jan. 7, 2015),...more

Construction Case Law Update - January, 2015

FLORIDA STATE CASES - Slavin Doctrine; Design Contracts - Under the Slavin doctrine, a subcontractor design company was not liable despite negligently designing intersection traffic lights that resulted in a fatal car...more

Tenth Circuit: Property Damage Surrounding Defective Windows Is an “Occurrence” Because Damage Is Unexpected from Insured’s...

In Cincinnati Insurance Company v. AMSCO Windows, No. 13-4155 (10th Cir. November 26, 2014), Cincinnati insured AMSCO, which manufactures windows for use in homes and sells the windows to distributors. Certain AMSCO windows...more

Alternative Approaches to Alternative Design: Understanding the Reasonable Alternative Design Requirement and Its Different...

In 1997, the American Law Institute (ALI) adopted the final draft of its Restatement (Third) of Torts on the topic of product liability. The most notable—and controversial—feature of the ALI’s work was its requirement that...more

Construction Case Law Update - November 2014

Personal Injury Liability, Design Standards, Slavin Doctrine, and Certorari Jurisdiction – Certiorari jurisdiction can arise where two parties in the same legal position move for summary judgment under the same theory...more

U.S. District Court in Kentucky Holds that Contractor Which Proposed Design Solution During Construction Might Be Liable for...

American Towers LLC v. BPI, Inc., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 106724 (E.D. Ky. Aug. 4, 2014) - American Towers LLC (“American Towers”), which operates wireless and broadcast communications towers, undertook a project to...more

Is the Spearin Doctrine Still a Contractor’s Shield if the Contractor Followed the Plans and Specifications?

United States v. Spearin, 248 U.S. 132, 39 S.Ct. 59 (1918) is almost 100 years old, and it is still one of the most oft-cited cases in a construction lawyer’s playbook. In numerous contested cases, Spearin has given...more

Florida High Court to Decide If Party Must Object to a Fundamentally Inconsistent Verdict to Preserve Issue

The Florida Supreme Court has accepted review of a Third District case involving whether a party waives a challenge to a fundamentally inconsistent verdict by failing to object before the jury is discharged. See Coba v....more

Architects and Design Professionals Can Be Held Liable for Defects Based On Third Party Claims

A homeowners association, on behalf of its members, sued a condominium developer and various other parties for construction design defects that allegedly made their homes unsafe and uninhabitable for a significant portion of...more

Recent Recalls Aimed at Infant Products - Child Product Recalls: Hazardous High Chairs and Cribs

It is always distressing to learn that a product you have purchased has been recalled. For new parents, information about a defective infant product can be particularly alarming. According to a recent article in the...more

Massachusetts Superior Court Holds Construction Manager At-Risk Responsible for Design Errors / Holds that Spearin Doctrine Does...

The Worcester Superior Court recently issued a potentially landmark decision clarifying the risk that construction managers assume when entering into CM-At Risk contracts. ...more

California Supreme Court Holds Design Professionals Owe a Duty of Care to Future Homeowners

The California Supreme Court in Beacon Residential Community Association v. Skidmore, Owings and Merrill LLP (July 3, 2014), held – based on common law principles – that an architect owes a “duty of care” to future homeowners...more

The California Supreme Court Decides In Favor Of Homeowners In Disputes With California’s Architects

In the case of Beacon Residential Community Association v. Skidmore Owings and Merrill et. al. (July 3, 2014, S208173) Cal.4th, a condominium homeowners association, sued the developer of the project and the project architect...more

Architects May Be Sued Directly by Homeowners Association for Design Defects

In a unanimous decision, California’s Supreme Court has ruled that the principal architects for a condominium project may be sued directly by a condominium homeowners association for design defects. The case, decided July 3,...more

Dallas Woman Awarded $1.2 Million, Mesh Called Defectively Designed

For the first time, a Texas jury has decided the pelvic mesh made by healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson was defectively designed. The jury awarded the 64-year-old Dallas woman $1.2 million following a two-and-a half week...more

Illinois District Court Rejects Strict Application of the “Bare Metal” Asbestos Defense

On February 14, 2014, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, in Quirin v. Lorillard Tobacco Company, et al., rejected strict application of the “bare metal” defense, under which defendants cannot be...more

Liability for Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Expands for the First Time to Include Design Defect Claims

Product liability law in Pennsylvania has been fundamentally altered as it relates to the manufacturing and selling of prescription drugs. Manufacturers are now subject to design defect claims following a recent state Supreme...more

Court Gets in Line with Majority of Jurisdictions on Faulty Products Coverage

A recent decision from an appellate court in Pennsylvania is good news for policyholders who manufacture products, as yet another jurisdiction joins the majority view that product manufacturers may be covered for damage that...more

Weekly Law Resume - January 2014: Torts – Negligence – Sophisticated User Defense

Buckner v. Milwaukee Electric Tool Corporation - Court of Appeal, Fifth Appellate District (December 20, 2013) - In Johnson v American Standard (2008) 43 Cal.4th 56, the California Supreme Court first recognized the...more

Are Children Safe in High Chairs? Rise in High Chair Injuries Reported in New Study

Child Injury and Defective Products - Are our children safe in high chairs? According to a recent study published in the journal of Clinical Pediatrics, each year thousands of children suffer injuries from high...more

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