Must all playground slides be straight and dull on pain of liability for "design defect," as Max Kennerly implies or can a manufacturer give parents the option to supervise children to play on a slide with some curves? Nick Farr defends. NB the rhetorical imprecision of Kennerly turning sixteen injuries into "odds are pretty good a kid is going to fall off and break their arm or knee when they land." Sixteen injuries may be too high to permit the product to be sold as is; I don't know what a reasonable baseline comparison is, or the size of the denominator. Certainly any playground equipment of height that isn't a barred cage permits a child to fall off and break an arm or a knee, and it certainly can't be the case that any risk of injury is too much risk, or that any product less safe than the most safe product is defective. If the ratio of injuries to slides used is much higher than average, I could certainly concede that a product is unreasonably unsafe. Kennerly's proposed solution, as well as that of the complaint in one lawsuit, however, is ridiculous: bigger warning labels. A warning label on a slide is just going to teach children to ignore warning labels; and any parents who don't understand the law of gravity aren't going to be educated by the label on a slide. The only conceivable label that could make a difference is "Don't Use." Either the Evos Slalom Glider is too unsafe to be sold at all (a possibility I don't rule out), or it isn't; let's not abuse the failure-to-warn doctrine.
A slippery slope?
- Mutual Pharmaceutical Co. v. Bartlett
- Full Federal Pre-emption of State Consumer Protection Food Suits
- Around the web, July 27
- The "Contains Peanuts" warning on a peanut jar
- More on Bartlett v. Mutual Pharm.
- NYC lawsuit payouts: $560M in 2011
- CFPB paternalism
- First Circuit: juries can second-guess FDA "safe and effective" finding
- The problems of product liability
- Greg Conko: Can brand makers be sued for generic drug injuries?
- First Circuit upholds $1.5M table-saw verdict
- A new definition of chutzpah?
- "Abnormal Use" interview
- BREAKING: Bruesewitz v. Wyeth