Question: Diane Elsroth was visiting her boyfriend Michael Notarnicola in the
Diane Elsroth was visiting her boyfriend, Michael Notarnicola, in the home of his parents. Diane complained of a headache, and Michael provided a Tylenol that his mother had bought earlier that week. Michael noted nothing unusual about the Tylenol packaging. After consuming two Tylenol capsules, Diane went to bed. She died during the night. The medical examiner concluded that the Tylenol had been contaminated with potassium cyanide. The murder was not solved. The evidence established that the tampering with the Tylenol occurred after the product left the manufacturer’s control. The packaging included a foil seal glued to the mouth of the container, a “shrink seal” around the neck and cap of the container, and a box with its ends glued shut. The manufacturer, McNeil, a wholly owned subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, knew through its research that a determined, sophisticated tamperer could breach the packaging and reseal it in a manner that would not be visible to the average consumer. John Elsroth sued McNeil on behalf of Diane’s estate. Was the Tylenol packaging defective in design? Explain.
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