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Pannu v. Land Rover North America, Inc.

California Court of Appeal
120 Cal. Rptr. 3d 605 (2011)


Sukhsagar Pannu’s (plaintiff’s) Land Rover Discovery rolled multiple times after another driver struck it from behind, forcing it to veer across the freeway and collide with another car. Pannu sued manufacturer Land Rover North America, Inc., (defendant) for strict liability based on defective design. At trial, Pannu’s expert opined that rapid steering maneuvers in an attempt to control the Discovery after initial impact would have caused it to tip over. Moreover, after extensive testing on production Land Rovers, a second expert testified that the Discovery’s roof would have crushed only three inches into the occupant space (instead of 16 to 17) had the manufacturer incorporated $76 to $116 in roof reinforcements that added only 72 pounds of additional weight. The trial court found Land Rover liable under both the consumer-expectation test and the alternate risk-benefit test and awarded Pannu over $21 million. Land Rover appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Perluss, J.)

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