Silhadi Alami was driving with a blood alcohol content that exceeded the legal limit when his Volkswagen Jetta collided with a pole. Alami died from his injuries. Alami’s wife Shauna (plaintiff), as administratrix, sued Volkswagen of America, Inc. (Volkswagen) (defendant), claiming that a design defect in the vehicle enhanced Alami’s injuries. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of Volkswagen on public-policy grounds, finding that Alami’s drunk driving was a serious violation of the law and that his injuries were the direct result of that violation. The appellate division affirmed. Alami appealed to the New York Court of Appeals.