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Greiner v. Volkswagenwerk AG

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
429 F. Supp. 495 (1977)


Facts

Thelma Greiner (plaintiff) was a passenger in a car manufactured by Volkswagenwerk AG (Volkswagen) (defendant). Judith Nickel was driving the car the wrong way down a street when Nickel swerved to avoid the oncoming traffic. After the swerve, the car headed directly toward a concrete bridge railing at a speed between 30 and 60 miles per hour. Rather than crash into the railing, Nickel quickly swerved again, resulting in the car rolling over and injuring Greiner. Greiner brought a products-liability suit against Volkswagen in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, alleging, among other things, a failure to warn of the car’s propensity to roll over on sharp turns. The district court declined to instruct the jury on Greiner’s failure-to-warn claim. The jury returned a verdict in favor of Volkswagen. Greiner appealed the district court’s decision to withhold the failure-to-warn issue from the jury. The court of appeals vacated the judgment and remanded the case to the district court.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Lord III, C.J.)

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