Torts – Liability of Supplier of Chattel – Proof of Manufacturer’s Negligence

Plaintiff service station operator brought an action to recover for injuries resulting from the explosion of one of defendant manufacturer’s tires. The tire, while admittedly new, had been purchased by a third party some eighteen months before being brought to the plaintiff for mounting. In addition to his own testimony, the only evidence supporting plaintiff’s claim of negligence was expert testimony that such an explosion could be caused by defective wire in the bead when a tire was inflated to normal pressure, and also that there was opportunity for negligence in defendant’s manufacturing processes. The district court set aside the jury verdict for the plaintiff and directed a verdict for the defendant. On appeal, held, reversed and the jury’s verdict reinstated, one judge dissenting. The evidence was sufficient to support the jury’s finding of negligence. Hewitt v. General Tire and Rubber Co., 3 Utah (2d) 354, 284 P. (2d) 471 (1955).