Chefik Simo, an 18-year-old freshman on the varsity soccer team at Furman University, was a passenger in a 2000 Mitsubishi P45 Montero Sport, a sport-utility vehicle designed, manufactured, and sold by Mitsubishi Motors Corp. and Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. (collectively referred to here as "Mitsubishi"). Simo suffered severe injuries when the Montero Sport rolled over on an interstate highway after the driver suddenly steered left to avoid another vehicle and then attempted to correct his course by quickly turning back to the right. While the vehicle was on its side, it was struck by a Federal Express truck. In the litigation referred to below, Simo presented testimony that he was the top soccer recruit in the country the year he entered college and was among the best players on the United States' "Under-20" national team. Simo had intended to begin his professional career in Europe following the conclusion of the soccer season at Furman. Many European teams, including some at the top levels, had expressed interest in signing Simo when he became available.
Simo's injuries from the accident included a fractured shoulder blade, a fractured pelvis, a dislocated shoulder, a ruptured small intestine, a broken wrist, a knee dislocation in his left leg involving a complete separation of the thigh bone from the shin bone, and tears of three of the four major ligaments in the knee.
He suffered irreparable nerve damage that resulted in a "drop foot." As a result of these injuries, Simo underwent a number of surgeries and incurred more than $277,000 in medical bills. He engaged in arduous rehabilitation efforts in an attempt to resume his soccer career. When he returned to the field, however, he ended up overcompensating for his injuries to his left side, leading to painful stress fractures that forced him to terminate his comeback. Simo filed a strict liability lawsuit against Mitsubishi. Based on what you have studied in Chapter 20, what elements would Simo need to prove in order to win his strict liability case? What test would the court be likely to apply in determining whether strict liability should apply? What types of damages would Simo be entitled to obtain if he establishes liability on the part of Mitsubishi? Would the lost career opportunity in soccer be something accounted for in any award of damages to Simo?

  • CreatedJuly 16, 2014
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