Louisiana Court of Appeal Holds that Recall Notice is Admissible in Design Defect Case.

In What's New in Product Liability Law?, What's New in the Courts by gravierhouseLeave a Comment

A used Ford caught on fire, and the insurer was subrogated to the rights of the car-owner. State Farm, as subrogree, filed an action against Ford under the LPLA. The trial court found for the plaintiff, and the First Circuit affirmed. “If the service recall bulletin had dealt with a different model year or involved a different type of speed control deactivation switch, we would conclude the trial court erred in allowing the bulletin’s admission. In this case, however, the recall campaign involves the same speed control deactivation switch and the same vehicle model as Stephens’ vehicle…. Because Ford denies that the speed control deactivation switch caused the fire, any evidence tending to establish that the switch was defective and could have caused the fire is relevant. Additionally, State Farm relies on the service recall bulletin in part to establish that the switch was unreasonably dangerous in design; the fact that this component may have been the cause of fires in other 1992 Town Cars is part of that proof. Accordingly, we find no abuse of discretion.” State Farm v. Ford Motor Co., No. 2004-1311, 2005 La.App.LEXIS 2186 (La. App. 1st Cir. 6/15/05).

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