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Summary judgment granted to defendants because "Safer" Scalpel is not a reasonable alternative design.

April 11, 2013
Kordek v. Becton Dickinson, No. 10-7040 (2/4/13)


The plaintiff was working at Albert Einstein Medical Center, setting up the OR for an emergency C-section, when she tried to remove the shield covering the blade of the Becton Dickinson and Co. (BD) plastic, disposable scalpel. When the shield wouldn't come off, Kordek wrapped all of her fingers around the shield and pulled on it several times before it came loose. When the shield came off, the blade ended up lacerating Ms. Kordek's hand and arm. The court found that the retractable shield scalpel did not present a reasonable alternative design and that no reasonable jury could find that the defendant had breached its duty by manufacturing the conventional scalpel in question because the scalpels are not defective.

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