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A manufacturer has a duty under Kansas law to warn consumers and users of its products when it knows or has reason to know that its product is or is likely to be dangerous during normal use. The duty to warn is a continuous one, requiring the manufacturer to keep abreast of the current state of knowledge of its products as acquired through research, adverse reaction reports, scientific literature, and other available methods. A manufacturer's failure to adequately warn of its product's reasonably foreseeable dangers renders that product defective under the doctrine of strict liability. Kansas applies the same test to whether a manufacturer met his duty to warn under negligence as it does under strict liability.
Dearmedia Richter purchased a mini-trampoline from Limax International, Inc. and LMX-Manufactures Consultants, Inc. (collectively Limax) which she used for jogging. She was diagnosed as having stress fractures in the ankles and filed a suit against Limax alleging the repetitive use of the mini-trampoline caused the stress fractures and that the mini-trampoline was defectively designed and contained inadequate warning. The jury found Limax liable under strict tort liability and negligence for its failure to warn. The district court granted judgment as a matter of law for Limax.
Did Limax have a duty to warn consumers of foreseeable dangers of its products?
The court held the judgment was erroneous. The mini-trampoline was defective because Limax failed to warn the consumer of a foreseeable danger arising from its normal use and Limax had a duty to warn of foreseeable dangers. The jury could have reasonably found the consumer's injury was causally related to repetitive jogging on the mini-trampoline and concluded that Limax should have warned users of such danger, which was eminently knowable, or foreseeable, given the state of the art. Limax should have known of the danger because reasonable tests would discovered the danger.