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A manufacturer of a product that involves a risk of injury to the user is liable to any person, whether the purchaser or a third person, who without fault on his part, sustains an injury caused by a defect in the design, composition, or manufacture of the article, if the injury might reasonably have been anticipated. However, the plaintiff claiming injury has the burden of proving that the product was defective, i.e., unreasonably dangerous to normal use, and that the plaintiff's injuries were caused by reason of the defect.
Cattle farmers, a father and his sons, sought review of a judgment from an appeals court that reversed a judgment in their favor in an action for damages from a manufacturer of cattle dip and its insurer. The cattle farmers claimed a defective cattle dip purchased from the manufacturer killed seven of their cattle and caused injury to the two sons. The court of appeals held the trial court erred in determining the cattle dip was defective.
Did the evidence show that excessive amount of arsenic in the spray solution result from a defective batch of the manufacturer's dip?
Upon further review, the Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals and reinstated the trial court's judgment because the circumstantial evidence that the dip was defective excluded other reasonable hypotheses with a fair amount of certainty, and the manufacturer failed to produce evidence that the dip was manufactured properly. The Court noted that the trial court accepted as truthful the testimony of the sons that they had used only a small proportion of the dip.