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AMI 1017 Definition—Unreasonably Dangerous

Arkansas Supreme Court Committee On Jury Instructions-Civil

Ark. Model Jury Instr., Civil AMI 1017
Arkansas Model Jury Instructions-Civil
November 2021 Update
Arkansas Supreme Court Committee On Jury Instructions-Civil
Chapter 10. Products Liability
AMI 1017 Definition—Unreasonably Dangerous
In these instructions, I have used the phrase “unreasonably dangerous.” Unreasonably dangerous means that a (product) is dangerous to an extent beyond that which would be contemplated by the ordinary and reasonable buyer, consumer, or user who acquires or uses the (product), assuming the ordinary knowledge of the community or of similar buyers, users, or consumers as to its characteristics, propensities, risks, dangers, and proper and improper uses, as well as any special knowledge, training, or experience possessed by the particular buyer, user, or consumer or which [he][she] was required to possess.
[As to a minor, unreasonably dangerous means that a (product) is dangerous to an extent beyond that which would be contemplated by an ordinary and reasonably careful minor considering [his][her] age and intelligence.]
Use this instruction with AMI 1008, 1009, and 1013.
Use the bracketed paragraph when plaintiff is a minor.
This instruction is based on Ark. Code Ann. § 16-116-102(7).
See Berkeley Pump Co. v. Reed-Joseph Land Co., 279 Ark. 384, 653 S.W.2d 128 (1983) (citing AMI 1008), for a discussion of the “unreasonably dangerous” requirement. See Kaplon v. Howmedica, Inc., 83 F.3d 263 (8th Cir. 1996), for a discussion of evidence of special knowledge as it relates to this requirement.
In Harris v. Pacific Floor Mach. Mfg. Co., 856 F.2d 64 (8th Cir. 1988), the court held that it was prejudicial error for the trial court to refuse the requested instruction defining “unreasonably dangerous” as to a minor. Because only minors regularly operated the product, the court did not reach the question whether the standard with respect to a minor performing a dangerous activity usually engaged in only by adults should be the same in products liability as it is in negligence cases. That standard is discussed in the Comment to AMI 304.
An Arkansas statute provides that firearm and ammunition manufacturers shall not be liable in product liability actions on the grounds that such items have the inherent capability to cause damage. Ark. Code Ann. § 16-116-201. However, this statute does allow suit in tort against such manufacturers for damages proximately caused by acts in violation of a state or federal law or regulation or proximately caused by a defective product.
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