Product liability: properly worded inspection & maintenance manuals

McDermott & Ors v Robinson Helicopter Company Incorporated [2014] QCA 357

The appeal was against the manufacturer involving a fatal helicopter crash. The decision involved complex expert evidence about the failure of the bolt because it was incorrectly torqued. Ultimately, Wilson J accepted for detailed reasons, which McMurdo P concurred, that the respondent manufacturer “had failed to adequately address an identified, and accepted, risk – that, for whatever reason, the bolt may become loose”. The appropriate means of doing so included the inspection and maintenance manual, which was not properly worded. The appeal was upheld and remitted for the calculation of damages.

NB: overturned on appeal – Robinson Helicopter Company Incorporated v McDermott [2016] HCA 22 (8 June 2016)

David Cormack – Brisbane Barrister & Mediator

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