In an august decision that will shine in the annals of beer-related jurisprudence for as long as bar patrons whomp each other over the side of the head, a Texas state appeals court has ruled that Anheuser-Busch cannot be sued just because their longneck beer bottles are so damn handy for getting that job done.
The Eighth Court of Appeals in El Paso tossed out a case from a bar patron who said she'd been hit with a bottle by another customer, "resulting in five lacerations and permanent scaring."
To be sure, little might be expected to go right in a case where the ruling begins "While celebrating a friend's birthday at a bar known for its violence," and the facts don't disappoint.
Marty Gann says she was struck twice in her head with a glass longneck bottle during an altercation; she sued Bud on a product-liability claim, saying the company should have known it was manufacturing a dangerous product.
The panel of judges disagreed, saying Gann "failed to produce more than a scintilla of evidence that the longneck bottle was defectively designed as as to render it unreasonably dangerous" and that the company owed her a legal duty to protect her from third-person violent acts.
In her case, which we saw via Courthouse News Service, Gann tried to argue that plastic beer bottles would be safer, but the court found she failed to address whether substituting plastic for glass was economically feasible or would result in desired improvements.
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