Nassif v. National Presto Industries, Inc., 731 F. Supp. 1422 (S.D. Iowa 1990)

Bernard Nassif was a diabetic, who purchased a heater manufactured by National Presto Industries, for use in his home. Nassif’s diabetes caused him to have reduced sensitivity in his foot, a condition which he was aware of. On November 5, 1985, Nassif fell asleep while using the heater. The heater was near his foot, and when he awoke, he found he’d received burns to his left foot.

Nassif filed a lawsuit against National Presto on the basis that the product was defective,and the manufacturer was negligent through failure to properly warn individuals with sensory deficits of the dangers of the product.The defendant filed a motion for summary judgment.

The court found in favor of the defendant, finding a space heater’s dangerous ability to burn individuals who are too close was an obvious danger. The plaintiff failed to show that the product was defective, or dangerous to an extent beyond that contemplated by an ordinary consumer. The warnings and instructions were sufficient and not misleading. Summary judgment was entered for the defendant and against the plaintiff.

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