Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Lead in lead paint is not a design defect according to Wisconsin Supreme Court
The Supreme Court of Wisconsin has affirmed the dismissal of several product liability claims against paint manufacturers for injuries cased by the lead content of their paint products. This is not a surprising result since the lead paint manufacturers had won most, if not all, other similar claims so far. Among other things, the Court held that given that removing the lead from the type of paint at issue "would transform it into a different product," the design of white lead carbonate pigment is not defective. Although definitely a victory for the defendants, there is a very important element of the decision that is helpful to plaintiffs in products liability cases. The Court reaffirms its rejection of the Restatement (Third) and makes absolutely clear that "Wisconsin strict products liability law does not require a plaintiff to prove the feasibility of an alternative design.” For more on this story go to Jonathan Turley's Blog, Law.com and the Drug and Device Law Blog.