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Vautour v. Body Masters Sports Industries, Inc.

New Hampshire Supreme Court
784 A.2d 1178 (2001)


Facts

David Vautour was injured while using a leg press machine manufactured by Body Masters Sports Industries, Inc. (Body Masters). Vautour and his wife (plaintiffs) sued Body Masters (defendant) on claims of strict liability and negligence. At trial, Vautour’s expert testified that the machine, as designed, was hazardous because it could be used without the stops being engaged, and provided his own proposed design that he testified was mechanically feasible and would be safer than the machine’s current design. The lower court granted Body Master’s motion for a directed verdict in its favor because Vautour’s expert failed to provide testimony as to how his alternative design would have prevented the type of injuries suffered by Vautour. Vautour appealed, arguing that he did not need to prove an alternative design as an additional element of his design defect claim.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Duggan, 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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