Famous shoe manufacturer Nike has reportedly taken a short-term hit in its stocks after national television caught one of its shoes breaking apart while on the foot of a noted college basketball player. The player left early in the game after the shoe broke, causing him to fall.
The player was noted as a rising star in the world of college basketball. He had been averaging over 20 points a game in what is known as a very competitive conference in the world of Division I basketball. After his accident, he was able to walk off the court without assistance.
The model of the shoe that broke retails for over $100 and has the endorsement of at least one NBA player, who uses the shoe as his signature high top for playing basketball. At this point, Nike is describing this disturbing occurrence as a one-off incident. However, the story still raises issues about product liability.
Like any other product, manufacturers of athletic shoes and apparel have an obligation to only put safe products out on the market. Even if it is a one-time occurrence, if a design flaw or problem with the manufacturing process causes the product to fail, then someone who gets injured as a result may be able to pursue legal options for compensation.
The case of this basketball player is special since a significant injury could cut off his career prospects or reduce the amount of money he could command were he to enter the NBA. More typically, a person hurt by a dangerous product, like an athletic shoe that comes apart without warning, may be able to get compensation for damages like lost wages, medical expenses and non-economic losses.