Bad Boy Enterprises LLC (BBE) designs and manufactures the Bad Boy Classic vehicle, an electric four wheel drive vehicle that is built on a golf cart chassis. The buggy is designed primarily for off road use and is marketed mostly to hunters and outdoor enthusiasts. Mark Silver purchased a Bad Boy Classic vehicle. Mr. Silver taught his daughter, Elle, who was 13 years old, how to drive the vehicle and gave her permission to drive it. Elle drove the vehicle with Elle’s friend Brittany Peacock and Elle’s little sister as passengers. When Elle was driving the vehicle around a looping gravel driveway, she noticed that the vehicle would, at times, go fast as if she had pressed harder on the accelerator even though she was keeping steady pressure on the accelerator. Brittany, who had also driven the vehicle that day, also stated that the vehicle had an unintended acceleration problem. Elle, while driving the vehicle, felt the vehicle surge as she approached a curve. Elle took her foot off the gas and applied the brake, and the vehicle slowed down a little. The vehicle started tilting, tipped over, and came to rest on the driver’s side. The vehicle was traveling between 10 and 13 miles per hour when the accident happened. As a result of the accident, Elle’s left foot and part of her left leg were severed. In the past, BBE had recalled several types of its vehicles to repair them for unintended acceleration problems. Elle’s parents brought a product liability action against BBE, alleging that the buggy was defectively designed because it would accelerate without any input from the driver, that it had a propensity to roll over, and that it was not crashworthy. At trial, Elle planned on calling Brittany, her sister and parents, and employees of BBE as witnesses as well as calling expert witnesses. BBE filed a motion for summary judgment, alleging that there were no facts to be decided by a jury and that the court could decide the case on a summary judgment motion. Elle opposed the motion, asserting that there were sufficient facts for the jury to decide at trial that would prevent the granting of a summary judgment. Must the court grant defendant BBE’s motion for summary judgment? Silver v. Bad Boy Enterprises, 2013 U. S. Dist. Lexis 117562 (United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia, 2013)
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