Speedo vs. Rene

Home Case Brief Speedo vs. Rene
Speedo vs. Rene


In the case under consideration, Rene was driving a vehicle which accelerated without warning. As a result, she was injured as the vehicle collided with a guardrail by the roadside. This gives an impression that the driver was not anticipating for the acceleration because her efforts to gain control of the vehicle were not successful. In fact, her inability to control the car shows that she did everything she could to mitigate damage.


The proponents of product liability imply that Speedo Motors Corporation, the vehicle’s manufacturer, will be liable for Rene’s injuries. This is because a manufacturer ought to be held accountable for the injuries resulting from the use or application of their products. In fact, one can be held liable for product liability in the event of producing a product that becomes detrimental for the wellbeing of the consumer. A product is said to be defective when it has more drawbacks than the anticipated benefits. Defective product is the leading cause of injuries that occur after it has been sold from the market place. A claim for a defective product can be recovered when the plaintiff proves the existence of a contractual relationship termed as ‘privity of contract’. However, the requirement varies from one state to another.

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The defectiveness of a product can be classified into three broad categories – marketing defects, design defects, and manufacturing defects. From Rene’s case, it is apparent that the product was defective in manufacture because it experienced a sudden acceleration. In the event of the defect not having anything to do with manufacturing, Speedo brand ought to have given a warning on the same. Similarly, the fact that no warning was given implies that the manufacturer did not anticipate for the same. This confirms the fact that the damage pertains to manufacturing defects.

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A defective design arises when the product does not conform to the expectations of a customer. Manufacturing defects, on the other hand, is when the manufacturing process incorporates some shoddy workmanship. Marketing defects pertain to negligence in the ways in which a product is marketed. Such a defect incorporates improper labelling as well as inadequate warnings. In most predicaments, marketing defects depend on the foreseeable dangers that come from a product. Therefore, the uncontrolled design must have been a result of defective manufacture.

The plaintiff can recover compensation from the manufacturer of a defective product by relying on the maxim of strict liability. Under strict liability, a person can recover compensation without necessarily showing that the manufacturer was negligent. However, the manufacturer cannot be held liable for a defect in manufacture if the product was innately unsafe and the consumer knew that it was unsafe. In a product liability case, two rules can be helpful to the plaintiff. The first is a rule known as the doctrine of ‘res ipsa loquitur’. It shifts the burden of proof to the defendant. The other rule is a strict liability where the plaintiff will only show that the product was defective.

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It is the prerogative of the manufacturer to provide a warning to the user on how to use the product during a foreseeable danger. Therefore, any damage that the manufacturer could not foresee implies that negligence was involved. This means that Speedo Motors Corporation will be held accountable for the plaintiff’s injuries. Rene will, therefore, recover compensation for damages resulting from the unexpected acceleration. However, she will have to prove that the defendant was the manufacturer of the product and the product had a defect. She also has to prove that her injuries were caused the defective product.

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