The plaintiff was injured when a driver’s side airbag deployed after she honked the horn. The plaintiff’s expert opined that a clock spring malfunctioned as a direct result of its misalignment at the factory. At trial, the jury found for the defendant, but the trial court, applying the doctrine of res ipsa, entered judgment for the plaintiff on JNOV. The defendant argued on appeal that res ipsa is not available under the LPLA, which requires the plaintiff to affirmatively prove that the product is defective. (See La.R.S. 9:2800.54(D).) While rejecting application in this particular case, (due to the removal of the spring by plaintiff’s expert without marking the clock spring’s position), the Supreme Court could “see no reason why a plaintiff cannot use circumstantial evidence in order to make the inference that a product was unreasonably dangerous when that product left a manufacturer’s control…. The defective nature of a product will not be ‘presumed’ by utilizing this doctrine, but rather, ‘it simply gives the plaintiff the right to place on the scales, ‘along with proof of the accident and enough of the attending circumstances to invoke the rule.'” See Lawson v. Mitsubishi, 05-0257 (La. 9/6/06), 938 So.2d 35.
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