Explain what causes of action the plaintiff may have against the defendant and what defenses the defendant could raise.
The plaintiff brings this cause of action against a manufacturer for the loss of one leg below the hip. The leg was lost when caught in the gears of a screw auger machine sold and installed by the defendant. Shortly before the accident, the plaintiff’s co-employees had removed a covering panel from the machine by use of sledgehammers and crowbars in order to do repair work. After finishing the repairs, they replaced the panel with a single piece of cardboard instead of restoring the equipment to its original condition. The plaintiff stepped on the cardboard in the course of his work and fell, catching his leg in the moving parts. Explain what causes of action the plaintiff may have against the defendant and what defenses the defendant could raise.
The plaintiff can take action against the defendant only if the presumed risk of harm from the machine is reported for alteration to the defendant. The plaintiff can claim that the machine cannot be disassembled easily and there is no alternative safety lock provided to make the process easier because of the defective design.
The defendant, in counterarguement, can present the following defenses to escape the liability:
The product alteration is not able to be completed because the plaintiff has not reported the defect.
The product is assembled wrongly by the plaintiff's fellow employees, which has caused injury to the plaintiff.
The plaintiff not knowing the risk at the time of working represents the plaintiff's carelessness.
The plaintiff is negligent toward the personal safety rules, under the provisions of Section 402A of the restatement law, when working on the machine.
The plaintiff can sue based on the defective design of the machine dismantling process, which is difficult. The machine should have an easy lock system.
The defendant can raise the following defenses:
The product alteration cannot be provided because the plaintiff has not informed the defendant about it.
The coworkers of the plaintiff mishandled the process of the disassembly of the product.
The defendant can claim that they are not liable because the plaintiff has not presumed the risk for their safety.
The plaintiff has neglected personal safety provisions while working on the machine.