Ensuring that products manufactured by companies are safe for use and do not lead to injuries is paramount for organisations. The described issue is of especially high concern for vehicle manufacturing companies since road accidents are highly likely to lead to fatal outcomes (Leichtamer v. American Motors Corp). Despite the case of a car accident caused by a flaw in the vehicle, the company never made a recall on the product. Therefore, considering the case of Leichtamer v. American Motors Corp. is essential for understanding how the rights of citizens can be protected from sustaining injuries.
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In addition, the case results can serve as the vehicle for encouraging organisations to build a system of quality management and preventing instances of injuries. The specified goal cane be achieved by holding companies liable for negligence in quality management.
The plaintiff argued that the pitch-over that took place as they drove in a Jeep produced by the American Motors Corp. occurred due to the production defect and could be seen as the violation of customer safety, as well as the breach of quality standards. While the defence argued that the case considered in the court did not fall under the category of quality management issues, the further analysis of the problem indicated that the breach of quality standards did take place.
The procedural history includes the plaintiffs filing the case, the defendants’ argument against the plaintiffs using the risk-benefit theory and the further ruling of the court that found the defendant liable. The defence used the risk-benefit theoretical framework that could potentially be utilised as the tool for proving the argument of the American Motors Corp., yet the inconsistency in these statements allowed denying the validity thereof.
Leichtamer v. American Motors Corp. 7 Ohio St. 2d 456 (1981), Supreme Court of Ohio: should companies be held accountable for the flaws in their products that have led to injuries in the cases that could be addressed from the perspective of the risk-benefit theory?
Yes. After considering the arguments of both sides, the court held that the instance of the breach of quality standards that led to the injuries of customers took place. Therefore, it was decided that the organisation was liable directly for the malfunctioning of the car and the trauma that the passengers suffered. As the court decision read, the case was representative of “a cause of action for damages for injuries caused or enhanced by a product design defect” (“Leichtamer v. American Motors Corp. 7 Ohio St. 2d 456” 5). The solution produced by the court responds directly to the question posed above by outlining that a company should be held as liable for the defects of the goods that it produces and the failures in their functioning.
In order to support the decision described above, the court produced a range of arguments, including the ones that pertain to the case law directly. For example, the case of Temple v. Wean United, Inc. (1977), 50 Ohio St. 2d 317 provides substantial grounds for making a conclusion regarding the subject matter and passing verdict. In the case mentioned above, the court ruling states that a company offering a product with any type of defect in it that may potentially lead to physical damages and injuries should be held legally responsible (Leichtamer v. American Motors Corp).
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The case of Temple v. Wean United, Inc. (1977), 50 Ohio St. 2d 317. Applies directly to the specified case since it mirrors the situation that occurred in Leichtamer v. American Motors Corp. Specifically, because of the flaws that were created at the production stage and affected the further functioning of the vehicles, passengers were exposed to high risks to their lives. Thus, the car manufacturing company is to provide compensation for the physical and emotional harm that passengers sustained, as well as the expenses that they took.
The court decision is also valid from the standpoint of the statutory law. The decision to hold the American Motors Corp. liable for the damages that the passengers sustained aligns with the principles of the Strict Liability Law, which implies that a tortious act causing damages or injuries should entail legal responsibilities for the manufacturer (Leichtamer v. American Motors Corp). The specified principle justifies the decision that the court made and implies that the American Motors Corp. remains liable for the damages that the passengers suffered despite the arguments concerning the reasonability of the plaintiff’s actions during driving.
Indeed, the arguments that the defence provided could not be regarded as valid since the risk-benefit theory. Utilised in the case under consideration did not align with the specified scenario. Particularly, using the risk-benefit theory as the justification for the faults of the mechanism implied that there was a limit to the extent of safety provided to customers by the organisation.
Shifting the perspective from the inherent problems of the vehicle’s design to the actions of the plaintiff cannot be regarded as justifiable in the case in point, which the court’s decision showed quite clearly. The existing Warranty Law indicates that refusing to provide compensation for the malfunctioning of a vehicle from the company to passengers is unacceptable under any circumstances (Leichtamer v. American Motors Corp). Furthermore, the law allows preventing similar instances form happening in the future by holding organisations producing faulty vehicles accountable for the lack of quality management strategies within their system. Therefore, the statutory laws contributed to the management of the issue and the management of the problem in court.
The facts of the case are quite simple, and they inform the further actions to be taken to address the specified concern. Although the company attempted at using the risk-benefit theory as the means of declining any further responsibility, the application of the Strict Liability Law and the use of a similar case set as the precedent for addressing similar instances have contributed to the resolution of the problem. The court decision is fully justified and should be regarded as the platform for managing similar issues in the future.
Therefore, it was critical to ensure that the case should be analysed in a due fashion since the outcomes thereof would define the further safety of people purchasing any products or services from any organisation.
The customers of companies producing cars and other types of vehicles would have been the first to suffer the consequences if the court had been inclined toward supporting the American Motors Corp. and viewing the issue from the tenets of the risk-benefit theory that the defence used. By taking the plight of the plaintiffs into consideration and acknowledging the need to hold the American Motors Corp. accountable for the flaws in its products, the court made it possible to reinforce the safety of passengers.
Leichtamer v. American Motors Corp. 7 Ohio St. 2d 456 (1981), Supreme Court of Ohio. Web.