What factors must be considered when balancing the risks inherent in the product, as designed, against its utility and cost?

Ontario, Canada


The following excerpt is from O’Brien v Bard Canada Inc., 2015 ONSC 2470 (CanLII):

In Rentway v. Laidlaw, supra, Justice Granger compiled a list of factors to consider when balancing the risks inherent in the product, as designed, against its utility and cost, namely, (1) the utility of the product to the public as a whole and to the individual user; (2) the nature of the product - that is, the likelihood that it will cause injury; (3) the availability of a safer design; (4) the potential for designing and manufacturing the product so that it is safer but remains functional and reasonably priced; (5) the ability of the plaintiff to have avoided injury by careful use of the product; (6) the degree of awareness of the potential danger of the product which reasonably can be attributed to the plaintiff; and (7) the manufacturer’s ability to spread around any costs related to improving the safety of the design.

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