Product Liability and The Engineer
I.D. # 82001 Duration 1.5 Days

Note: Last day of class ends at approximately 1:00 pm

In the past few decades, product liability law has dramatically changed the manufacturer's outlook in the design and manufacture of product. The concept of safety and reliability has been altered from a purely engineering/manufacturing concept to a legal/manufacturing approach. This new approach requires an understanding of legal concepts as related to the manufacturing and design process. The engineer's role has shifted to include a safety audit analysis to minimize the existence of a product defect and/or to defend the product in a way that is responsive to the legal concerns.

An overnight assignment will be made by the instructor. It will consist of problems drawn from actual cases and a group project that examines the design, instructions, and warnings of a product.

Learning Objectives
By attending this seminar, you will be able to:

  • Relate legal concepts as they apply to the manufacturing/design process

  • Use safety audit analysis techniques to minimize or eliminate product
    defects during design, thus reducing product liability

  • Discuss defense of product from a legal perspective

  • Recognize the importance of potential liability as it relates to the

Who Should Attend
Persons responsible for product design, including managers and designers;
corporate risk managers; persons responsible for developing and approving product
instructions and warnings; marketing personnel; production and quality assurance
managers and personnel; personnel responsible for product safety and those
persons, including lawyers, who oversee and manage product liability issues.
Participants should have an undergraduate engineering degree or commensurate experience in manufacturing or product liability.
Seminar Content
(Day two will end at approximately 1:00 p.m.)
  • Legal Concepts
    • Negligence: elements, defenses
    • Strict liability: section 402A (elements, defenses)
    • Warranties: express, implied
  • Analysis of Defect
    • Meaning of unreasonable danger
    • Production defect
    • Design defect
    • Defect by words
  • Designing for Reasonable Safety
    • Products' use, users & environment
    • Product safety audit
  • The Role of Standards in Design
  • Warnings
    • Guidelines for design & warnings
    • Functions & use
  • Problem Analysis by Participants
  • Review of a Product Design by Participants

Instructor(s): Charles F. Seyboldt
Mr. Charles Seyboldt has degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Law. Since 2003 he has been acquiring experience in the transportation industry, having engineering responsibilities covering a broad range of product and manufacturing technologies. He is a registered Professional Engineer and a registered patent agent.

"The attendee input into theories discussed by the instructor was very effective and applied the theories to day-to-day events."

Mark A. Byrd

GM Investigator

Royal Insurance

"The instructors enthusiastically present the subject with great knowledge and detail."

Allen F. VanDerStuyf

Manager, Component Systems

Electro-Wire Products

"Very useful introduction to law and product liability for the testifying expert."

Richard Ross


Ross, Kennedy & Pfeiffer

"Al's graphic descriptions of real world examples help convey the law of product liability in a manner that is uniquely understood by the engineer."

Henry Krautner

Manager Design Engineering

Detroit Diesel Corp.


Fees: $1415 SAE Members: $1274