cars-on-fire137810326TSA recent decision handed down by the Connecticut Supreme Court may significantly impact the way product liability lawsuits are litigated within the state of Connecticut in the future. In a products liability case, the “malfunction doctrine” permits the plaintiff to argue at trial that a product possessed a defect without offering direct evidence of a defect, but rather only circumstantial evidence of the alleged defect. Under the malfunction doctrine a plaintiff is permitted to argue that a product  was defective due to an unexpected event that would not have occurred if the product functioned properly without the necessity of specifying the part or component that was actually defective. A common use of the malfunctions doctrine is in product liability cases arising out of a fire. In a fire case, a plaintiff will typically argue that all causes for the fire have been ruled out except for a malfunction within the product despite no direct evidence of a specific defect.
Continue Reading The Connecticut Supreme Court restricts the plaintiff’s ability to rely on the “Malfunction Doctrine” to support a Product Liability claim

car-tire_122438534TSOur February 18, 2014 blog, Massachusetts, Where Only Young Rubber Hits the Road, covered An Act to Increase Road Safety, proposed by the Massachusetts House of Representatives, which was assigned bill tracking number H3016. The Act would require issuance of a rejection certificate for any vehicle equipped with a light-truck or passenger tire, including a full-service spare, more than six years old.
Continue Reading Update: Anti-Tire Aging Legislation in Massachusetts

Car-tire-driving_TS_153479870Massachusetts is considering An Act to Increase Road Safety (H3016), which will require issuance of a rejection certificate for any vehicle equipped with a light-truck or passenger tire, including a full-service spare, more than six years old. The bill would amend Massachusetts’s annual-vehicle-inspection law, failing vehicles equipped with a tire six years or older. The state inspectors will use the tire’s tire identification number or “TIN” to determine its age. A certificate of rejection authorizes vehicle operation for 60 days (20 for motorcycles) before correcting the “safety-related equipment defect(s).”  If not timely corrected, the vehicle’s registration will be suspended – a serious penalty for Massachusetts residents since it is mandatory that all vehicles used on Massachusetts roadways be registered. It is unclear whether the bill applies to motorcycle tires.
Continue Reading Massachusetts, Where Only Young Rubber Hits the Road