Ford Motor Co. v. TrejoAnnotate this Case
In this case, the Supreme Court declined to adopt a risk-utility test for strict product liability design defect claims and confirmed that claims of design defect grounded on strict product liability in Nevada will continue to be governed by the consumer-expectation test.
Respondent brought this suit against Ford Motor Company, alleging a design defect in the roof of the Ford Excursion and seeking damages based on theories of strict products liability and common law negligence. The case proceeded to trial on the strict products liability theory, and the jury returned a special verdict in favor of Respondent. The district court entered judgment on the jury’s $4.5 million damages award. On appeal, Ford urged the Supreme Court to adopt the risk-utility test for claims of strict product liability design defect, as set forth in the Restatement (Third) of Torts: Products Liability (Third Restatement). The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) this court declines to adopt the risk-utility test; (2) the jury was properly instructed on the consumer-expectation test; and (3) Respondent presented sufficient evidence to support the verdict.