Case 13-4 provides another illustration of the importance of criteria selection in determining the outcome of a case. When Sperryâ€“New Holland appealed the case, it did not focus on the facts or on the courtâ€™s conclusion. Instead, the appeal focused on the test used by the court to decide the case. The defendantâ€™s appeal presumed that if the consumerexpectations test had been used instead of the risk-utility analysis, the decision likely would have been different. The questions that follow will help you to think more critically about the courtâ€™s decision to use risk-utility analysis in Case 13-4.
1. To demonstrate your awareness of the guiding power of ethical norms, identify the primary ethical norm that would lead to the use of risk-utility analysis. Clue: To answer this question, you may want to reread the courtâ€™s discussion of each test.
2. In Case 13-4, the court selects risk-utility analysis as the test to apply in making its decision. What are its reasons for making this selection? Clue: You know the courtâ€™s holding. Every group of sentences that answers the question, â€œWhy is that the holding?â€ provides a reason.