Attorney Article

When Safety Features Are Optional, Manufacturers Beware


July 26, 2017

Author: Richard H. Rubenstein

Richard Rubenstein (Partner-New York) was published in the Expert Analysis section of Law360 on July 26, 2017. In his article, “Equipment Manufacturers: Beware of the Rental Yard Customer When Safety Features Are Optional,” Richard notes that if a safety feature is disadvantageous under certain conditions of use and the product can be safely used without it under those conditions, the courts have sometimes ruled that the purchaser is in a better position than the manufacturer to decide. Through a judicious review of case law and the application of common sense, he opines that an exception should be made where “the end user … has sufficient knowledge − whether through the manufacturer’s on-product warnings and product literature or otherwise − to adequately weigh the risks and benefits of the optional safety feature for his or her own specific uses.”

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