AELE LAW LIBRARY OF CASE SUMMARIES:
Civil Liability of Law Enforcement Agencies & Personnel
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Police Plaintiff: Products Liability
In a case where
a police officer accidentally shot and killed a suspect, drawing her gun
while thinking it was her Taser, a federal appeals court upheld summary
judgment for the Taser manufacturer on a products liability design defect
claim. The court noted that the Taser and holster were not "used"
when the injury occurred, and such use was necessary for the design defect
claim. The court also found that the manufacturer exercised reasonable
care in choosing a gun-shaped design for the Taser, when the only evidence
presented on the decision-making process indicated that a handgun-shape
was better for accuracy and feedback from training officers indicated that
they preferred a handgun-shaped design. The court also rejected failure
to warn, negligent warning, and training claims. Torrest v. City of Madera,
No. 05-16468, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 10169 (Unpub. 9th Cir.).
Federal trial court certifies class action lawsuit by Ohio state troopers and a police department concerning whether the defendant company engaged in the sale of defective bullet-resistant body armor to police departments across the U.S. Variations in the warranty laws of various states did not alter the fact that the purchasers of the vests had received identical five-year warranties, and that common legal issues concerning whether the vests were defective justified a class action to resolve the plaintiffs' claims. Southern States Police Benevolent Association v. First Choice Armor & Equipment, Inc., No. 06-10034, 2007 U.S. Dist. Lexis 18372 (D. Mass.).
A genuine issue of fact existed as to whether alleged defects in bicycle purchased by police bicycle patrol unit were the cause of the plaintiff officer's impotence. Yarchak v. Trek Bicycle Corporation, 208 F. Supp. 22d 470 (D.N.J. 2002). [N/R]
Police officer who was struck by a police vehicle with an allegedly defective brake system failed to adequately present evidence of defective design in his products liability lawsuit against the car's designer and manufacturer. Bourgeois v. Garrard Chevrolet, Inc., No. 2002-C-0288, 811 So. 2d 962 (La. App. 4th Cir. 2002). [N/R]
Police officer who suffered major injuries while responding to distress call after his vehicle hit at tree at high speed is awarded $15.2 million by jury in lawsuit claiming that the steering mechanism of the car was defective. Hernandez v. Ford Motor Co., No. MID-L-10461-97 (Middlesex Co., N.J. Super. Ct. Jan. 18, 2002), reported in The National Law Journal, p. B5 (Feb. 4, 2002). [2002 LR Mar]
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