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Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana

In this diversity jurisdiction civil action based on Louisiana products liability law, the manufacturer, Nut Hustler, Inc., challenges the sufficiency of the evidence to support the jury’s verdict in favor of the plaintiff, Elton Fitzgerald Ellis, on the single issue of whether Mr. Ellis’s injury, the traumatic amputation of his arm, arose from a reasonably anticipated use of the product, a mechanized pecan harvester. Alternatively, Nut Hustler seeks reversal of the district court’s denial of its motion for a new trial because of an alleged inconsistency between special verdicts. At the outset, we stress the limited nature of the principal issue on appeal: we are not here presented with a challenge to the jury’s determination that Mr. Ellis’s injury was proximately caused either by a characteristic of the product that rendered it unreasonably dangerous in design or by an inadequate or unprovided warning about the product’s danger. Rather, we are to consider only whether the evidence presented at trial was sufficient to create an issue of fact for the jury as to the reasonably anticipated use element of Mr. Ellis’s claim or whether the district court was required to enter a judgment as a matter of law against him on that issue. On the issues appealed we affirm the judgment on verdict of the district court.

I. Facts and Procedural History

 
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