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Richelman v. Kewanee Machinery and Conveyor Co.

Appellate Court of Illinois
375 N.E.2d 885 (1978)


Mark Richelman (plaintiff), a two-year-old child, was injured when he stuck his leg into a grain auger on his grandfather’s farm. No one else was present to see whether Richelman was trying to use the auger, was playing, or simply tripped and fell. Richelman brought a design-defect suit based on strict liability and negligence against Kewanee Machinery and Conveyor Company (Kewanee) (defendant), the manufacturer of the auger. The design engineer of the auger, as a witness for Richelman, testified that he had based the width of the space between the auger’s guard bars on his own size 12 shoe. The jury returned a verdict in favor of Richelman. Kewanee appealed, arguing that Richelman’s injury was not foreseeable as a matter of law under Winnett v. Winnett, 310 N.E.2d 1 (Ill. 1974), which held that a products-liability action could not be maintained if a reasonable jury could not find that the plaintiff’s conduct was reasonably foreseeable.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Moran, J.)

Dissent (Jones, J.)

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