Torts Keyed to Dobbs
McCarthy v. Olin Corp
In December 1993, Colin Ferguson boarded a Long Island Railroad commuter train during evening rush hour and opened fire on several passengers, killing six and wounding nineteen. The bullets used in the shooting, 9mm “Black Talons”, were designed by their manufacturer, Olin Corporation, to enhance the injuries of their victims. The bullets performed as designed, that is, they bent upon impact into “six ninety-degree angle razor-sharp petals” that tear through tissue and bone thus increasing the severity of the victims’ injuries. Plaintiffs brought an action against Defendant, alleging strict liability and negligence. The lower court ultimately dismissed appellants’ complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. With specific regard to Plaintiff’s action for negligent marketing and manufacture, the appeals court affirmed the lower court’s dismissal because Defendant did not have a legal duty to control the distribution of the ammunition nor did it owe a legal duty to appellants to protect against an assailant’s horrible action. Plaintiffs appealed.
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