The law of product liability in Georgia generally follows the same principles that are applicable in all jurisdictions nationwide. Generally, a manufacturer and/or retailer can be held strictly liable for putting a defective product on the market that results in personal injury to a consumer who was using the product according to its normal use. In addition to strict liability for defective products, manufacturers and retailers can be liable for negligence in the design or manufacture of a defective product. Sometimes, breach of warranty is also used as a theory of recovery for injuries sustained from a defective product.
Product liability law provides a defense if warnings were conspicuously provided regarding a defect or dangerous condition and the injury results from the consumer’s not heeding the warnings. With those principles being applicable, a trial is currently underway in another state in which a 14-year-old girl is the plaintiff against a lawn mower manufacturer, Deere & Co. She claims that a defect in the mower caused her to lose her leg in a tragic accident when she was just 2 ½ years old. At that time, her father backed up the mower over her while not knowing that she was there.
According to child safety features, the blades should not have been running in reverse. However, it is claimed that the father mistakenly pressed a button that kept the blades engaged and caused the child’s severe injuries. The defendant manufacturer, Deere & Co., claims that the father was at fault for using the mower around a young child. Deere claims that product did not contain a defect.
The child’s personal injury attorneys claim that the product had inadequate warnings and instructions, and it was designed in such a way as to prevent a consumer from avoiding such back-over disasters. They claim that there was a blind spot created by the defective design that prevented the user from seeing directly behind him as he backed up. The jury will decide these issues under instructions from the trial court after all the evidence is presented by both sides. The foregoing principles apply generally in Georgia as well as in all other state and federal courts.
Source: registerguard.com, “Trial begins in Springfield lawn mower injury case”, Jack Moran, March 9, 2018