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Bowen v. Cochran

Court of Appeals of Georgia
556 S.E.2d 530 (2001)


Facts

David Bowen (plaintiff) bought a gas grill manufactured by Fred Cochran (defendant). As part of the purchase, Cochran gave Bowen a trigger lighter and then explained and demonstrated how to light the grill properly. Bowen did not follow these instructions, but lit the grill by lighting the end of a rolled-up newspaper and then turning on the gas. Bowen then went into his house for 30 minutes. When he came back to the grill, the flame had gone out, and Bowen again attempted to light the grill with a rolled-up newspaper. A burst of flame came out of the grill’s lighting area and injured Bowen. Bowen brought a products-liability suit against Cochran. Bowen presented evidence that the design of the grill allowed gas to pool in the grill’s drip pan, which could cause delayed ignition. Cochran argued that Bowen assumed the risk. The jury found in favor of Cochran. Bowen filed a motion for a directed verdict. The trial court denied the motion. Bowen appealed, arguing that the trial court should not have instructed the jury on assumption of risk.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Miller, J.)

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  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
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Dissent (Eldridge, J.)

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