Torts Keyed to Franklin
Jones v. Ryobi, Ltd.
Plaintiff worked for Business Cards Tomorrow (BCT) as a printing press operator. Blank sheets of paper were passed through the moving parts in the press and images were imprinted. Part of Plaintiff’s duties included ensuring that the wheels that moved the printed paper out of the press did not streak the printed images. The press Plaintiff operated had been purchased by BCT from Ryobi, Ltd. and had come with a plastic guard that protected the moving parts of the press and a switch that would turn off the press whenever the guard was opened. BCT modified the press to remove the guard and disable the switch in order to save time. This modification was common in the printing industry. While Plaintiff was operating this modified press, she was startled while trying to adjust the wheels and her hand was crushed in the press. Plaintiff sued Ryobi, Ltd., the manufacturer, as well as A.B. Dick the distributor, alleging the press was defectively designed and that strict product liability was warranted. The trial court granted Defendants’ motion for judgment as a matter of law and Plaintiff appealed.
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