Tort Law

Defects-When Leave Defendant

The cases below are a compilation of cases from the Virginia Supreme Court summarized by Brien Roche dealing with the topic of defects when leave defendant and the related topic of product liability.For more information on product liability see the pages on Wikipedia.

Defects-When Leave Defendant Cases

1999 Garrett v. I.R. Witzer Co., 258 Va. 264, 518 S.E.2d 635.

Defects-when leave defendant.Defendant was manufacturer of Low Boy Trailer equipped with hydraulic cylinder unit used to raise and lower its height. Defendant retailer sold the trailer to construction company where plaintiff was employed when he was injured. Plaintiff had elevated trailer bed, pin in hydraulic unit failed, and trailer fell on his right foot. Expert witness for plaintiff testified that cylinder on trailer failed because pin was too small. To prevail under warranty theory or negligence theory, plaintiff must show that goods were unreasonably dangerous for use to which they were ordinarily put or for some other reasonably foreseeable purpose and that defect existed when goods left defendant’s hands. In this case, plaintiff’s employer accepted delivery of goods on November 5, 1990, and plaintiff did not use trailer until he began employment on March 4, 1992. Plaintiff failed to present any evidence about condition of pin and hydraulic unit when trailer was delivered and as such, motion to strike was properly granted.

1984 Norfolk & W. Ry. v. Baker, 226 Va. 527, 311 S.E.2d 766.

Defects-when leave defendant.Evidence of existence of defect after accident tends to show that defect existed before accident. Facts in present case, however, do not justify such inference since evidence indicated that reasonable inspection would not have disclosed any such defect.

1959 Swift & Co. v. Wells, 201 Va. 213, 110 S.E.2d 203.

Food case. Defect must have existed before it left manufacturer’s hand.

1951 Robey v. Richmond Coca-Cola Bottling Works, 192 Va. 192, 64 S.E.2d 723.

Defects-when leave defendant.There is no presumption that cola carton was defective when it left hands of defendant. Plaintiff must prove that defect existed when product left defendant’s hands.

1950 Virginia Transit Co. v. Durham, 190 Va. 979, 59 S.E.2d 58.

Bus struck pedestrian. Bus company alleged brake failure due to product defect. Jury question presented as to whether defect caused accident or accident caused defect.

1950 Newport News Coca-Cola Bottling Co. v. Babb, 190 Va. 360, 57 S.E.2d 41.

Defect must exist at time product leaves possession of defendant. Whether defect (substance in bottle) was in bottle when it left custody of defendant or whether it arose at some later time, is question for jury.

1949 Norfolk Coca-Cola Bottling Works v. Land, 189 Va. 35, 52 S.E.2d 85.

Defects-when leave defendant.Food case. Foreign substance must be present in food when it leaves defendant’s possession.

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Defects-When Leave Defendant

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