HEATHER’S VOTE: LEWIS IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CHILD GETTING HOLD OF THE CONTAINER. THE LABEL CLEARLY READ KEEP OF OUT REACH OF CHILDREN. ACME WAS NOT AT FAULT.
1. REFLECTION PAPER #2 AND 3 (Torts): Select and answer the TWO reflections on Product Liability presented on pp. 17-19 in the syllabus below. Be sure to refer to the Reflective Paper Rubric.
PRODUCT LIABILITY ACTIVITIES AND REFLECTIONS:
For both of these activities, you will serve as a juror in a product liability case. In the first case you will deliberate on whether tort liability should be found. In the second, you will deliberate on whether punitive damages should be awarded. [Optional: The instructor will facilitate the deliberation as a role play and will serve as the judge on the case.] Review these fact patterns and write a brief analysis of the issue. Be sure to include your “vote” as a juror. Specific instructions for the reflections follow the fact patterns provided below.
I. Liability Exercise
· Jury Deliberations
Facts Given: Lewis purchased a 1.5-gallon heavy duty gas can from Z-Mart. The can consisted of a jug for the liquid and a screw-on cap. The gas can was bright red, and there was not any writing or graphics on it. It cost $19.99. The packaging for the jug contained a single sheet of paper, written in English. It included the following: (1) a list of the type of liquids that the container could hold (i.e., gasoline), (2) contact information for the manufacturer (Acme Container Co.), and (3) a warning that read: “Keep Out of Reach of Children.” Lewis, who speaks Spanish as a primary language and English as a second language, glanced at the paper and then discarded it.
Clark, a four-year old, was visiting with Lewis’s child, also four years old. They were playing in Lewis’s basement and discovered the gas can. It was on the floor in the middle of the room. They easily unscrewed the cap and poured about one gallon of gas onto the floor. The vapors from the gas ignited, and Clark was burned severely as a result.
Clark’s father and mother filed a lawsuit against Acme Container Co. alleging that the product was defective, and against Lewis alleging that he was negligent.
As a “juror”:
· Consider Acme’s potential liability under all three product liability theories: defective manufacture, defective design, and failure to warn. Explain your thinking.
· Consider if Lewis is negligent. Explain your thinking.
Deliverable Assignment: Individually prepare a short paper — one (1) to two (2) pages – and describe why or why not each defendant is liable, or if neither defendant is liable. If you think both are liable, what percentage of liability should each defendant be responsible for?
· Helpful Hint: You may find helpful information about proper warnings in case like this on the Internet. Use APA format for citations/references. Must have at least two article referring to the same sort of instance.
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