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Meyerhoff v. Michelin Tire Corp.

United States District Court for the District of Kansas
852 F. Supp. 933 (1994)


Facts

Kevin Meyerhoff was changing a truck tire manufactured by Michelin Tire Corporation (Michelin) (defendant) when the tire exploded, killing him. Kevin had been driving on the tire in a substantially deflated condition, which caused the tire to explode. The Meyerhoffs (plaintiffs), Kevin’s parents, brought a negligence suit against Michelin for failure to adequately warn of the dangers of changing the tire after driving on it in an underinflated condition. The Meyerhoffs’ expert witness, Wells, drafted a warning on the dangers of changing the tire after driving on it in an underinflated condition and testified that Michelin should have printed the warning in yellow lettering on the sidewall of its tires. Wells was unable to testify as to the feasibility of printing yellow lettering on the tire. Wells also testified about warnings that other tire manufacturers had placed on their tires, all of which were in black lettering. On cross-examination, Wells testified that these other warnings were inadequate in part because the warnings should have been in color, but were “better than nothing.” Wells also admitted there were many other hazards of truck tires that his proposed warning did not include. Wells admitted that including one danger and omitting other dangers might be misleading, but stated that only hidden dangers should be included on a warning. The jury returned a verdict for the Meyerhoffs, finding Michelin to be 11 percent at fault. Michelin filed a motion for judgment as a matter of law.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Belot, J.)

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  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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