Francis Clairmont et al.
Amer Sports Winter & Outdoor Company et al. 
MEMORANDUM OF DECISION AND ORDER ON DEFENDANT, AMER
SPORTS WINTER & OUTDOOR COMPANY'S, MOTION FOR SUMMARY
Michael D. Ricciuti, Justice
action arises out of a January 15, 2011 incident in which the
plaintiff, Francis Clairmont (" Clairmont" ),
tripped and fell while wearing a pair of boots manufactured
by defendant Amer Sports Winter & Outdoor Company ("
Amer Sports" ). Clairmont's Complaint against Amer
Sports alleges negligence (Count I), defective design (Count
II), breach of warranty (Count III), and failure to warn
(Count IV) in connection with her accident. Clairmont's
husband and co-plaintiff, George Clairmont, also asserts a
claim for loss of consortium in the Complaint (Count IX).
matter is before the Court on Amer Sports' motion for
summary judgment on all of the Plaintiffs' claims. For
the following reasons, Amer Sports' motion is
following relevant facts are either undisputed or presented
in the light most favorable to the non-moving party, in
accordance with the dictates of Mass.R.Civ.P. 56.
about January 15, 2011, Plaintiff Francis Clairmont ("
Francis" ) was shopping at the Derby Street Shoppes in
Hingham. She was wearing a pair of Solomon Gore-tex
Contragrip ankle high hiking boots (" the Boots" )
at the time. Amer Sports manufactured the Boots. The Boots
have a " speed lacing" design, which includes a
rigid J-shaped hook comprised of a curved neck and a
fastening tail, through which the laces pass to tie each of
the Boots. As Francis exited the store, the lace of the left
boot caught on the hook of her right boot. She fell forward
as her legs became entangled and was injured.
present no expert testimony on the design of the speed laces,
and have adduced no evidence that Amer Sports knew, or had
reason to know, of any similar accidents or occurrences
caused by the speed laces.
Sports contends that manufacturers have used the patented
speed lacing design for more than one hundred years, and that
this design is popular on hiking boots, work boots, and ice
Standard of Review
Summary judgment is appropriate when the record shows that
" there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and
that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of
law." Mass.R.Civ.P. 56(c); see also DuPont v.
Commissioner of Corr., 448 Mass. 389, 397, 861 N.E.2d
744 (2007). The moving party bears the initial burden of
demonstrating that there is no triable issue and he or she is
entitled to judgment. Ng Bros. Constr., Inc. v.
Cranney, 436 Mass. 638, 644, 766 N.E.2d 864 (2002),
citing Pederson v. Time, Inc., 404 Mass. 14, 17, 532
N.E.2d 1211 (1989); Kourouvacilis v. Gen. Motors
Corp., 410 Mass. 706, 716, 575 N.E.2d 734 (1991). In
reviewing a motion for summary judgment, the Court views the
evidence in the light most favorable to the non-moving party
and draws all reasonable inferences in his or her favor.
Jupin v. Kask, 447 Mass. 141, 143, 849 N.E.2d 829
(2006), citing Coveney v. President & Trs. of the Coll.
of the Holy Cross, 388 Mass. 16, 445 N.E.2d 136 (1983);
see also Simplex Techs., Inc. v. Liberty Mut. Ins.
Co., 429 Mass. 196, 197, 706 N.E.2d 1135 (1999).
Negligence, Defective Design, and Breach of Warranty Claims
(Counts I, II, and III)
styled as three different theories of liability, Counts I,
II, and III alleging negligence, defective design and breach
of warranty, respectively, all turn on the same core
contention that the speed laces on the Boots were defectively
designed and that such defect caused plaintiff Francis'
establish a claim for defective design, a plaintiff must show
that the manufacturer " failed to exercise reasonable
care to eliminate avoidable or foreseeable dangers to the
user of the product." Morrell v. Precise
Engineering, Inc., 36 Mass.App.Ct. 935, 936, 630 N.E.2d
291 (1994) (Rule 1:28 Opinion), citing Uloth v. City Tank
Corp., 376 Mass. 874, 880-81, 384 N.E.2d 1188 (1978). A
defective design claim requires proof that the product is not
reasonably safe for its intended purposes and for reasonably
foreseeable uses, considering the customer's ordinary
expectations about the product. See Back v. Wickes
Corp., 375 Mass. 633, 640-41, 378 N.E.2d 964 (1978); see
also Haglund v. Philip Morris, Inc., 446 Mass. 741,
748, 847 N.E.2d 315 (2006) ( in design defect case, "
jury must weigh multiple factors, including 'the gravity
of the danger posed by the challenged design, the likelihood
that such danger would occur, the mechanical feasibility of a
safer alternative design, the financial cost of an improved
design, and the adverse consequences to the product and to
the consumer that would result from an alternative
design.' " ) (citations omitted). Further, "
[i]n claims alleging negligence in the design of a product,
as with claims of a design defect in breach of the implied
warranty of merchantability, the plaintiff must show an
available design modification which would reduce the risk
without undue cost or interference with the performance of
the [product], and the jury must consider whether a safer
alternative design was available in deciding whether the
defendant was negligent for failing to adopt that design . .