Read the facts below to answer the following questions.
- State the professional duty of care of a professional electronics design engineer, then the specific professional standard of care Magoo and Bord must follow in designing the requested product. State the general duty of care for a corporation as to visitors on its premises and the specific standard of care relative to test areas and visitors.
- Determine, using facts and law, whether anyone breached a standard of care.
- Determine, using facts and law, whether any breach is the actual cause of any of Bupkiss’ injuries.
- Determine whether any breach is the proximate cause of any of Bupkiss’ injuries.
- Determine using facts and law whether any defendant has any viable affirmative defense
- Clearly state your conclusion who, if anyone is liable and in what percentage of total fault (100%)
One page is not enough. More than three or four is probably too many. Use a 12 point readable font. Have a copy of your analysis ready to use during class.
Michael Magoo, a professional electronics design engineer, prepares a new circuit design for a more efficient TiVo-style recorder for home use. Magoo subcontracts the printed circuit design to Alla Bord, a Czech engineer in Prague who speaks limited English. Bord prepares a schematic of the printed circuit design. Magoo requests that Bord make changes in the design to make the board layout even more efficient. One of the major changes affected the location of the power supply. Bord makes the requested changes, but then attempts to tell Magoo in an international telephone call that although the changes will work, the new layout might increase the risk of shock to any consumer who opens up the recording device. Magoo does not understand Bord very well and assures him that he has done a good job. Saving even a few pennies in production of the board is worth a lot of additional profit to Magoo’s client, Giant Corporation.
During Alpha testing of the product without a casing at Giant Corporation headquarters, Sam Bupkis, a visiting buyer from Circuit City, is severely shocked and injured during a demonstration of the product when he accidentally touches the circuit board in the very place that Bord warned Magoo about. Bupkis sues Giant for negligence and product liability, and sues Magoo and Bord for professional negligence and product liability.
At trial, Bupkis introduces the testimony of an expert electronics engineer who states that any competent electronics engineer should have known from the revised schematic that the layout was dangerous and that Giant’s engineers should have reviewed Magoo’s work and discovered the deficiencies in the design. Giant defends by arguing that Alpha testing is used to find flaws and that, in fact, the flaw was discovered before the product was released to the public. Giant further argues that Bupkis should not have touched the product. Bord defends by claiming he was only a hired independent contractor who performed exactly as required of him and who warned Magoo. Magoo defends himself by claiming that it was not readily apparent from the schematic that the layout was dangerous and that he was entitled to rely on the specific expertise of Bord as the layout designer, who should have put his warning in writing to be understood.