Baseball umpire Edwin Hickox was injured during a baseball game in Washington, D.C., while wearing a mask made by Wilson Sporting Goods Co. Hickox filed a suit in a court in the District of Columbia against Wilson, alleging product-liability claims. A jury issued a verdict in Hickox’s favor. Wilson appealed.
The District of Columbia Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that to determine whether the product’s design was defective, the consumer-expectations test was the appropriate standard in this case. Under that standard, “considering all the evidence, a reasonable juror could conclude that an ordinary consumer would have expected the mask to perform more safely than it did.”
1. What is the “consumer-expectations test”?
2. What factors did the court consider in determining whether the evidence in this case was
sufficient to establish reasonable consumer expectations?
3. Can a jury make “inferences” to arrive at a verdict?
4. How did the appellate court’s conclusion in this case affect the parties?