Thursday, December 3, 2015

Daly v. General Motors Corp case brief

Daly v. General Motors Corp case brief
1978, California
Facts: Driver was thrown from his car in an accident because of an alleged defect with door latch. Though there was evidence that he was drunk and did not use harness. Jury found for defendant. 
Decision: Reversed 
Reasoning: Injury must be caused as a result of a defect in the product and there is no liability when someone uses the product in an unforeseeable way. Court is looking at whether comparative negligence will ruin strict liability; strict liability is there to relieve injured consumers from the problems of proof inherent in negligence. Courts wanted to place burden of loss on manufacturers rather than persons powerless to protect themselves. Comparative principles will not frustrate strict liability. The same principles apply, plaintiff does not have to prove negligence on part of defendant and injuries caused by a defective product remains strict.

The only change is that plaintiff’s recovery is reduced only to the extent that his own lack of reasonable care contributed to the injury. Loss should be assessed equitably in proportion to fault, even plaintiff’s fault. 

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