Hyundai Motor Co. v. DuncanAnnotate this Case
Zachary Gage Duncan sustained a serious injury while driving his 2008 Hyundai Tiburon when he struck a tree. The side airbag did not deploy. Plaintiffs, individual and as Duncan’s guardians and conservators, filed suit against Hyundai, claiming breach of implied warranty of merchantability. During trial, Plaintiffs’ designated expert witness Geoffrey Mahon testified that the location of the side airbag sensor rendered the Tiburon unreasonably dangerous. Hyundai appealed from the judgment of the trial court, arguing that there was an insufficient foundation for the expert witness’s opinion. The Supreme Court agreed and reversed, holding (1) Mahon’s opinion was premised upon his unfounded assumption that the side airbag would have deployed if the sensor had been located in a different area; and (2) because Mahon’s opinion supplied the only support for Plaintiffs’ claim that the vehicle was unreasonably dangerous, the inadmissibility of Mahon’s opinion was fatal to Plaintiffs’ claim.