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Wasik v. Borg

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
423 F.2d 44 (1970)


Facts

Robert W. Borg (defendant) was driving a station wagon produced by Ford Motor Company (Ford). Borg collided with Albert J. Wasik (plaintiff), injuring Wasik and damaging his vehicle. Wasik sued Borg in the United States District Court for the District of Vermont under its diversity jurisdiction. Borg claimed that the station wagon’s throttle cable was in “runaway condition.” Therefore, Borg filed a third-party complaint against Ford alleging that the station wagon had abruptly accelerated “due to a dangerous defect in the design or the manufacture of the automobile.” In its answer, Ford denied all of Borg’s allegations and raised a defense of contributory negligence. Ford was represented at trial and treated in all respects as a defendant with the potential for direct liability. In fact, Wasik’s attorney seemed to adopt Borg’s narrative. Ford was permitted to cross-examine both parties. The jury determined that Borg was not negligent, but held Ford liable for damages totaling $8,700. Ford appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Feinberg, J.)

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