In Piltch v. Ford Motor Co., No. 14-1965 (7th Cir. Feb. 11, 2015), the Seventh Circuit affirmed summary judgment granted for the defendant auto manufacturer in a case alleging that the injuries plaintiffs suffered in a crash were enhanced by a design defect that caused the vehicle’s airbags to not deploy.  The crash at issue was the second crash plaintiffs had in which the airbags did not deploy and, although they had repairs done to their automobile after the first crash, they never confirmed whether the airbag control module was repaired.  Plaintiffs did not offer any expert witness in opposition to the summary judgment motion.  The Seventh Circuit held that plaintiffs could not establish a design defect under the Indiana Products Liability Act without an expert witness because they needed to establish both that another design for the airbags could have prevented the enhanced injuries and that the other design was cost effective.  Further, the judgment was upheld based on the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur because, without the support of an expert witness, plaintiffs could not negate possible causes other than the alleged defect, particularly where the repair could have been inadequate and caused the failure of the airbags to deploy in the second accident.  The court also held that plaintiffs’ lack of an expert witness negated their efforts to establish that their injuries were enhanced by the failure of the airbags to deploy and would not have been suffered absent the airbag failure.