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Developments in Product Liability Law, The Harm of Hindsight Analysis in Design Defect Cases, The Foolproof Product Redux

IDC Quarterly Vol. 14, No. 2 (

Summary: This articles discusses the alternative use of the “consumer expectation” doctrine and the risk/benefit or risk/utility standard in design defect cases. The latter is generally applied by plaintiffs where the hazard inherent in the product is open and obvious. On the other hand, in complex product cases plaintiffs prefer to claim that the consumer would not have used the product had he been aware of the hazard. The article considers the plaintiff’s ability to choose between the two in both strict liability (Wortel v. Somerset Industries, Inc., 331 Ill. App. 3d 895 (2002)) and negligence (Blue v. Environmental Engineering, Inc., 345 Ill. App. 3d 455 (2003)) cases.  Read More