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Gray v. Manitowoc Company

    Brief Fact Summary.

    Gray brought a products-liability suit against Manitowoc Company when he was struck by a crane that did not have mirrors or cameras to ensure the operator full vision.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law.

    A seller is liable for physical harm caused to consumers for selling products in a defective condition that is dangerous to potential consumers.

    Facts.

    Gray was a construction worker using a crane manufactured by Manitowoc Company (Manitowoc). Because the crane had a blind spot, Gray was struck by the crane because the operator could not see him. Gray brought a products-liability suit against Manitowoc when he was struck by a crane that did not have mirrors or cameras to ensure the operator full vision. The trial court granted judgment in favor of Gray.

    Issue.

    Whether a seller is liable for physical harm caused to a consumer for selling a product in a defective condition that is dangerous to potential consumers?

    Held.

    Yes. The judgment of the trial court is reversed. Manitowoc cannot be held liable for Gray’s injuries. The ordinary consumers of the crane are in the construction industry; and the blind spots are known to normal operators of cranes within the construction industry.

    Discussion.

    A seller is liable for physical harm caused to consumers for selling products in a defective condition that is dangerous to potential consumers. A product is unreasonably dangerous if it goes beyond the reasonable expectations of the ordinary consumer.


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