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Wilson Sporting Goods Co. v. Hickox

59 A.3d 1267 (2013)

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Wilson Sporting Goods Co. v. Hickox

District of Columbia Court of Appeals

59 A.3d 1267 (2013)

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Facts

Edwin Hickox (plaintiff) was a baseball umpire. A representative of Wilson Sporting Goods Company (Wilson) (defendant) gave Hickox a protective mask to wear during games. The representative stated the mask was a new and safer design. Hickox was wearing the mask during a game when a foul ball hit the mask and caused Hickox serious injury. The design of the throat guard of the mask was such that the force of the ball was concentrated in one place upon impact, rather than being dispersed throughout the mask. This concentrated force was transferred to Hickox’s head causing Hickox’s injury. Wilson had not tested the mask to determine whether the force would be concentrated in this manner. There were other masks available at the time that would not have caused Hickox’s injury. Hickox brought a products liability suit against Wilson, claiming the mask was defectively designed. The jury found in favor of Hickox. Wilson filed a motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (McLeese, J.)

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