Tess M. Godhardt

Tess Godhardt leads clients through product liability litigations and offers best practices advice to prevent future challenges. Before joining the firm, Tess served as a law clerk where she drafted complaints, multiple motions, health professional reports and discovery requests for cases involving pressure ulcers, medical malpractice, slips and falls, and other tort-based actions.

View the full bio for Tess M. Godhardt at the Faegre Drinker website.

Articles by Tess M. Godhardt:


Snapchat’s ‘Speed Filter’: Georgia Supreme Court Revives Negligent Design Claim

On March 15, 2022, the Georgia Supreme Court revived a negligent design claim that had been brought against Snapchat, Inc. (n/k/a Snap, Inc.) involving Snap’s “Speed Filter.”  As one of the few decisions across the country addressing products liability law in the context of platform “products” (more accurately categorized as services) such as Snapchat, the opinion provides a glimpse of the sort of issues that other courts may soon be required to address.

The Factual & Procedural Background:

Plaintiffs Wentworth and Karen Maynard alleged that Defendant Christal McGee was using Snapchat’s “Speed Filter” and driving over 100 miles per hour when she rear-ended them, causing severe injuries.  The “Speed Filter” is a feature that allows the user to record their real-life speed on a photo or video and share it with other users.  Plaintiffs sued Snap as well, alleging that Snap had negligently designed the “Speed Filter” because the filter promoted unsafe driving and encouraged dangerous behavior.

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How the Anti-Drunk Driving Technology Mandated by Recent Legislation May Impact the Liability of Automobile Manufacturers and the Future of Products Liability Law for Autonomous Vehicles

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (the “Act”), signed into law on November 15, 2021, has been followed closely by the transportation sector.  One section of the Act has the potential to impact the landscape of automotive products liability litigation.

Section 24220 requires automobile manufacturers to equip new passenger vehicles with advanced drunk and impaired driving prevention technology.  Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, Pub. L. No. 117-58, § 24220, 135 Stat. 429, 831-833 (2021).

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Pushing Back Against the CPSC – Is a Mandatory Recall on the Horizon for Peloton’s Treadmills?

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Peloton Interactive, Inc. (Peloton) are clashing over whether the media, technology, and fitness company should issue a recall of its treadmill, the Peloton Tread+.  The disagreement came to a head on Saturday, April 17, when the CPSC and Peloton issued competing statements after failing to agree on language to be used in a joint announcement regarding the Tread+.  This dispute raises the question, “What now?”

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