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PRODUCTS LIABILITY a person who ran over and injured his son while riding backward on a lawnmower with spinning blades failed to show that the mower was defective in design, the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held on May 14. Brown v. Sears, Roebuck & Co., No. 01-4226. The owner sued the manufacturer, Sears Roebuck, alleging strict liability and negligence. Applying Utah law, the 10th Circuit agreed with a Utah federal court that Sears was entitled to summary judgment. The trial court had found that Sears had provided clear warnings about the potential for accidents involving small children, that the operator was at fault and that expert testimony concerning safety devices refuted the defective design theory. The court also found that the owner did not offer adequate proof that the child’s injuries would have been less severe if the mower had been unable to mow in reverse.

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