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High court takes certified question from Southern District

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The Indiana Supreme Court will answer a certified question in litigation involving the state’s Products Liability Act. The justices accepted the certified question from U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana Judge Larry J. McKinney Tuesday afternoon.

The question is “Whether, in a crashworthiness case alleging enhanced injuries under the Indiana Products Liability Act, the finder of fact shall apportion fault to the person suffering physical harm when that alleged fault relates to the cause of the underlying accident.”

The question arose in Nicholas A. Green v. Ford Motor Co., No. 1:08-CV-0163, in which Nicholas Green is suing Ford under the Indiana Products Liability Act, claiming the design of the car he crashed was defective and unreasonably dangerous. He also argues that Ford was negligent in the design of the car’s restraint system.

Ford wants to assert an affirmative defense based on Green’s alleged negligence in causing the accident; Green claims his alleged negligence is irrelevant because only a product’s defective design can cause “enhanced injuries.”

Main briefs in the matter are due Aug. 27 with response briefs due Sept. 17.
 

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