From our private database of 35,600+ case briefs...
Ford v. Polaris Industries, Inc.
California Court of Appeal
43 Cal. Rptr. 3d 215 (2006)
Susan Ford and her husband, Anthony (plaintiffs), went to Lake Berryessa with Steve and Laura Nakamura (defendant) for a picnic. The Nakamuras owned two jet skis manufactured by Polaris Industries, Inc. (Polaris) (defendant). Susan went out with Laura for a ride on one of the jet skis. Susan rode behind Laura, holding onto Laura’s waist. Laura told Susan that she was holding onto Laura too tightly. Susan leaned back and held instead to two grab handles behind her. Shortly thereafter Susan was bumped off the jet ski, falling backward into the water directly behind the jet nozzle. The jet nozzle’s high-pressure stream of water penetrated Susan’s body, causing severe hernial and rectal injury. Susan underwent two surgeries and multiple blood transfusions. Afterwards, she was unable to urinate without a catheter and nerve damage made her numb from her right knee to her waist. The Fords sued Polaris for strict products liability and sued Laura for negligence. Laura moved for summary judgment, arguing that Susan assumed the risk of falling out of the watercraft while maneuvering in the water. The trial court granted Laura’s motion. Polaris moved for summary judgment, arguing that primary assumption of risk also barred the Fords’ claims against it. The trial court denied Polaris’s motion, explaining that unlike Laura, Polaris owed Susan a duty to provide a product free of defects. The jury found in favor of the Fords, awarding them damages of nearly $3,750,000. Polaris appealed. On appeal, Polaris argued that the trial court erred in deciding that the primary assumption of the risk did not bar Susan from recovery.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Reardon, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 618,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee
Here's why 618,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 35,600 briefs, keyed to 984 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.