Minster made industrial presses. The press required the operator to
use both hands, so they wouldn't get their hand caught in the machine.
But they sold it with an optional foot pedal. They also sold an optional
guard device to keep people's hands out of the machine.
Kintz was working on a Minster machine with a foot pedal
and no optional guard device. She got her hands caught in the press,
accidentally tripped the foot pedal, and lost some fingers. She sued
Minster for product liability.
The Trial Court granted summary judgment for Minster and
dismissed the case. Kintz appealed.
The Appellate Court reversed and remanded for a full
According to Restatement of Torts §402A, a product
is defective if it is more dangerous than an ordinary consumer would
expect when used in an intended or reasonably foreseeable manner.
Aka the consumer expectations test.
The Appellate Court found that a product design is
It meets the standard of Restatement of Torts §402A
If the benefits of the challenged design do not outweigh
the risk inherent in such design.
Aka the risk-utility test.
The Court found that there were genuine issues
of material fact as to whether the design was defective if it allowed the
operator to accidental trip over the foot pedal.