In Hoover v. New Holland North America, Inc., No. 36 (N.Y. Apr. 1, 2014), the New York Court of Appeals addressed a defendant equipment manufacturer’s argument for judgment on the ground that changes the owner made to the machine after defendant manufactured it rendered the machine dangerous and relieved the manufacturer from any liability caused as a result.  The defendant manufacturer asserted that New York law recognizes a substantial modification doctrine, which barred plaintiff’s claim because the owner had removed a protective shield which was on the machine at the time of sale but had become damaged after years of use by the owner.  The trial court had ruled that the issue was a question of fact concerning the adequacy of the design of the machine.  The Court of Appeals affirmed, concluding that the plaintiff had adduced sufficient evidence that damage to the shield during the ordinary use of the machine was foreseeable as was the likelihood that people would then use the machine with no protective shield.  Consequently, the court affirmed the judgment for plaintiff.