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Linegar v. Armour of America
United States Court of Appeal for the Eighth Circuit
909 F.2d 1150 (1990)
Armour of America (Armour) (defendant) manufactured bullet-proof vests worn by police officers in the Missouri State Highway Patrol. Jimmy Linegar, a Missouri State Highway Patrol trooper, was wearing a contour-style vest manufactured by Armour when he was shot and killed during a routine traffic stop. Linegar was shot multiple times. However, of the five shots that hit the vest, none penetrated the vest or touched Linegar’s body. Linegar was killed from injuries suffered from bullets hitting parts of his body not covered by the vest. The style of the contour vest was safer than traditional vests covering only the front and back of a wearer’s torso, but was not as safe as other wrap-around styles as it left the sides of the wearer’s torso exposed. This gap in coverage should have been obvious to any member of the Highway Patrol choosing to wear the contour vest. Linegar was killed by a bullet entering the side of his torso and piercing his heart. His relative, Linegar (plaintiff), brought suit against Armour alleging the contour-style vest worn by Linegar at the time of his murder was defectively designed and unreasonably dangerous. At trial, the jury found the vest was defectively designed. It awarded the Linegar family $1.5 million in damages. Armour appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Bowman, J.)
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