Arvo Lake, a retired seventy-one year old man, bought an air conditioner in May. The unit was installed and operated according to the manufacturer’s specifications. Unbeknownst to Lake, the unit contained a hole in the refrigeration system that allowed Freon, the coolant, to escape from the unit. By August, the unit had ceased cooling, and Lake’s residence reached a temperature of at least 96 degrees Fahrenheit. The heat caused Lake to suffer from hyperthermia, which caused circulatory failure and then death. The executor of Lake’s estate sued the manufacturer of the air conditioner for damages resulting from breach of warranty. Which warranties, if any, has the manufacturer of the air conditioner breached? For a manufacturer to be liable for consequential damages caused by a breach of warranty, the consequential damages must be foreseeable to the manufacturer. Was Lake’s death a foreseeable consequence of the air conditioner’s failure to operate properly? The book states: The most common types of product liability cases are based on the following types of defects: 1 Design defects A product with a faulty design exposes its users to unnecessary risks, and products must be designed with all foreseeable uses in mind. Cars must be designed in view of the probability of accidents. To make the best possible case in the event of product liability suit, it is helpful for the manufacturer to have compiled with all federal and state regulations on the product. It is also helpful if the manufacturer has used the latest technology and designs available within the industry and has met industry standards in designing its product. 2. Dangers of use due to lack of warnings or unclear use instructions Manufacturers have a duty to warn buyers of a foreseeably dangerous use of a product that the buyers are not likely to realize is dangerous. They also have a duty to supplement the warnings. Manufacturers must also give adequate instructions to buyers on the proper use of the product.
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