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Sanders v. American Body Armor and Equipment, Inc.

Florida First District Court of Appeal
652 So.2d 883 (1995)


Facts

Warren Sanders was employed as an undercover officer by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. Sanders was killed in an exchange of gunfire in which he was shot 15 times. Sanders died from two bullet wounds that hit him nearly simultaneously, one in his chest and one in his abdomen. Sanders’s body armor deflected the other shots. Sanders’s body armor was manufactured by American Body Armor and Equipment, Inc. (Armor) (defendant). The bullet that entered Sanders’s abdomen missed his body armor altogether. The bullet that entered Sanders’s chest came through the seam at the side of his chest where the front and back panels of the armor joined together. The Sanders estate (plaintiff) sued Armor for negligence. The trial court held that the Sanders estate could not satisfy the cause-in-fact requirement of its negligence claim. The court reasoned that the bullet to Sanders’s chest could not be the cause in fact of Sanders’s death, because the simultaneous bullet to his abdomen would have killed him regardless. The Sanders estate appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Lawrence, J.)

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