In Melia v. Ford Motor Co., the Court. of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit was called upon for the third time in less than one year to interpret and apply the Nebraska version of strict liability in tort as it relates to alleged design defects. The difficulty of its task was magnified by the fact that the Nebraska Supreme Court has not allowed recovery under strict liability principles in any appeal it has heard since its initial endorsement of section 402A of the Second Restatement of Torts, in Kohler v. Ford Motor Co. This Note demonstrates that the majority misconstrued prior decisions of both the Nebraska Supreme Court and the Eighth Circuit, and failed to enunciate a useful standard for design defect cases. Moreover, recovery was allowed for what was found to be an enhanced injury when in fact the plaintiff introduced no evidence whatsoever from which the jury could properly infer that the decedent's injuries would have been any less if the alleged defect had not existed.
Terry R. Wittler,
Manufacturers' Liability for Design Defects: Melia v. Ford Motor Co., 534 F.2d 795 (8th Cir. 1976),
56 Neb. L. Rev. 422
Available at: http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/nlr/vol56/iss2/12