Michael F. Bahler | Bloomberg Law Linden v. CNH America, No. 11-1984, 2012 BL 58993 (8th Cir. Mar. 14, 2012) The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit upheld a directed verdict for a bulldozer manufacturer in a suit concerning a workplace accident, ruling that the plaintiff mischaracterized alleged flaws in the product as manufacturing defects. In March 2007, Thomas Lowell Linden, Jr., was operating a bulldozer manufactured by CNH America to level a drainage pond when the machine started to roll over. His seatbelt became unlatched, and he was thrown from the seat. The bulldozer landed on Linden's legs, and he was severely injured. In January 2009, Linden sued CNH in Iowa federal court, asserting both manufacturing and design defect claims. The manufacturing defect claims were premised on the allegations that the seatbelt at issue had insufficient Ultra Violet (UV) resistant material to protect it from UV wear and that the seatbelt's ejector holder did not fit tightly into the buckle. At trial, after Linden concluded his case in chief, the district court granted CNH's motion for a directed verdict on the manufacturing defect claims. It stated that there was no evidence in the record to suggest that there was a manufacturing deviation and that Linden was actually "saying [that the seat belt subcontractor] didn't do enough. That's a design question. That's not an error in manufacturing." After the jury returned a verdict for CNH on the remaining claims, Linden appealed the grant of the directed verdict. The Eighth Circuit observed that under governing Iowa law a manufacturing defect claim requires proof that the product was structurally flawed, damaged, or improperly assembled. Quoting the Eleventh Circuit, it noted that the "distinction is between an unintended configuration [a manufacturing defect], and an intended configuration that may produce unintended and unwanted results [a design defect]." (Internal quotation omitted.) It wrote that Linden's alleged manufacturing flaws were actually alleged design flaws, pointing out that he failed to submit evidence that the bulldozer deviated from its intended design or failed to meet its design specifications. Accordingly, it affirmed the directed verdict. DisclaimerThis document and any discussions set forth herein are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice, which has to be addressed to particular facts and circumstances involved in any given situation. Review or use of the document and any discussions does not create an attorney-client relationship with the author or publisher. To the extent that this document may contain suggested provisions, they will require modification to suit a particular transaction, jurisdiction or situation. Please consult with an attorney with the appropriate level of experience if you have any questions. Any tax information contained in the document or discussions is not intended to be used, and cannot be used, for purposes of avoiding penalties imposed under the United States Internal Revenue Code. Any opinions expressed are those of the author. The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. and its affiliated entities do not take responsibility for the content in this document or discussions and do not make any representation or warranty as to their completeness or accuracy.©2014 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All rights reserved. Bloomberg Law Reports ® is a registered trademark and service mark of The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)