147 Ariz. 709, 709 P.2d 517 (1985)
PROCEDURAL HISTORY: Plaintiff, guardian ad litem for the injured party, filed a petition for certiorari, requesting review of an order of the Superior Court of Maricopa County (Arizona), which held that the guardian had failed to establish a prima facie case of either negligence or proximate cause and that the trial judge had erred in denying the motion of defendants, automobile manufacturer and distributor (manufacturer), for judgment n.o.v.
- A mother fell asleep at the wheel of her Volkswagen "Bug," and the automobile eventually flipped. -The injured party, 11 months old at the time, was severely burned by battery acid.
-The jury found for the guardian of the injured party on a negligent design of battery claim, and awarded damages.
-The court of appeals held that the guardian failed to establish a prima facie case of either negligence or proximate cause and that the trial judge had erred in denying the motion of the manufacturer for judgment.
-After a grant of certiorari, the court vacated the opinion of the court of appeals.
-The guardian provided a prima facie case of negligent design against the manufacturer because the injured party presented expert evidence that the battery design location presented a foreseeable, unreasonable risk of harm, that alternative designs were available, and that such designs were feasible from a technological and practical standpoint.
-The jury was free to reach or reject the conclusion.
-Further, the injury was within the scope of the risk created by the manufacturer's original design.
The contemporaneous foreseeability of unreasonable danger is the litmus test for negligent conduct. If an automobile manufacturer can foresee that locating the battery within the passenger compartment poses an unreasonable risk of harm, then its design is not negligent.
CONCLUSION: The court vacated the opinion of the court of appeals in favor of the manufacturer, and affirmed the judgment of the trial court denying the motion of the manufacturer for judgment n.o.v.
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