Quimbee logo
DMCA.com Protection Status
From our private database of 17,600+ case briefs...

Smith v. Ingersoll-Rand Co.

Alaska Supreme Court
14 P.3d 990 (2000)


Dan Smith (plaintiff), a light duty mechanic, filed a strict products liability suit in federal district court after a door on an air compressor manufactured by Ingersoll-Rand Company (Ingersoll-Rand) (defendant) fell on his head and caused him to suffer serious injuries. At the time of the incident, Smith, who was not wearing his hard hat, propped open the compressor door in order to start the engine. There was no latch on the compressor door to hold it open. Whether from wind, vibration, or improper placement the door fell from its open position and hit Smith’s head. Smith did not immediately suffer serious injuries. However, eleven days after the incident he began to experience seizures and was later diagnosed with traumatic epilepsy. Since the accident, Smith consistently suffered from repeated seizures, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, lapses in memory, and other related medical problems. Following three jury trials and a remand from the Ninth Circuit, the United States District Court for the District of Alaska certified a question to the Alaska Supreme Court, namely “[D]id the 1986 Tort Reform Act change the existing law on comparative fault in products liability cases such that a plaintiff’s failure to exercise ordinary care is now sufficient to raise a jury question on comparative fault?”

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Matthews, C.J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 457,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 457,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 17,600 briefs, keyed to 984 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.

Questions & Answers

Have a question about this case?

Sign up for a free 7-day trial and ask it

Sign up for a FREE 7-day trial