Will Zion Williamson’s Broken Nike Shoe Result in a Product Liability Lawsuit?

Sports equipment product liability

Where to lay your bets

Zion Williamson’s broken Nike shoe and resulting injury could result in a Product Liability lawsuit.

My first question is about who would bring the product liability lawsuit. Would it be Williamson, Duke University, or could it be both?  I guess Williamson would have a case, but only if the injury was significant enough to affect his future career in the NBA or his projected draft status.  But if Williamson misses significant playing time impacting Duke’s seeding in the NCAA basketball tournament, Duke could claim the defective product caused injury.

Despite these speculations, it is hard to imagine either Williamson or Duke pursuing this course of action. If the injury is only a mild sprain, it is hard to imagine Williamson wanting to bring a Product Liability lawsuit on a company that controls 90% of the basketball market. The very company potentially paying him more in endorsements than he could ever earn from his NBA salary. It is equally hard to imagine Duke wanting to pursue a Product Liability lawsuit. It would imply that Williamson is the property of Duke. That’s important since many believe the players should be paid when colleges make so much money off their sports programs.

However,  if Williamson ends up sustaining a career-ending or severe enough injury to diminish his draft status, then it will be more surprising if there is not a Product Liability lawsuit.

I’m personally hoping that Williamson returns to form and I get to enjoy watching him play for many years. He is a special player, a special person, and is building an adoring fan base. The NBA team that drafts him will have truly won the lottery.

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