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Unreasonably Dangerous? Introducing the 'World's First Practical Jetpack'

Today I learned about a new product on the market that I am adding to my wish list. The Martin Jetpack, touted as the "World's First Practical Jetpack," promises to launch you to your next destination at speeds of up to 63 mph. Already I envision strapping this 535-pound baby on my back and heading due east along the Potomac River into D.C., while people stacked up in traffic on the parallel George Washington Parkway see me rocket by and say, "What the &$#@ was that??!!"

Check out the video below of one of my fellow jetpackers flying around a warehouse.


Of course, since I learned about my new jetpack via a post by Kevin Couch on the Abnormal Use: An Unreasonably Dangerous Products Liability Blog, I now also have a lot of the tricky legal issues worked out, as well. To wit:

  • Will my use of the jetpack pull me in to the dangerous activities exclusion on my life insurance policy? "Surely," Kevin says.
  • Do I need a pilot's license? No! Martin designed it as an "Ultralight" to avoid the need for a pilot's license.
  • Can purchasers waive liability should I, like Wile E. Coyote, accidentally rocket myself into the side of a mesa? Kevin says
it's not clear what type of waiver would be available, if any, to protect Martin from a strict liability claim. See, e.g., Simeone v. Bombardier-Rotax GMBH, No. 02-4852, 2005 WL 2649312 (E.D. Pa. Oct. 12, 2005). Unless a purchaser waives a known product defect, a waiver is probably not a viable defense. Martin would likely have a public policy problem, i.e., their fantastic waiver drafted by their presumably fantastic lawyers would not be useful in a strict liability action.

Bottom line: All I need now is $86,000 and the courage to hover at around 8,000 feet.

Posted by Bruce Carton on June 28, 2010 at 01:24 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)


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