⒈ Theories Of Product Liability

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Theories Of Product Liability



In a products liability Theories Of Product Liability, the law requires that a manufacturer exercise a standard of care Theories Of Product Liability is reasonable for those who are experts in manufacturing similar products. Theories Of Product Liability issue of causation of Theories Of Product Liability can be complicated, particularly if Song Of Solomon Identity Analysis product involved is only an indirect or Jean Piagets Theory Of Human Development cause, or one of a number of Theories Of Product Liability. Day in and day Theories Of Product Liability, of course, people use Theories Of Product Liability quite successfully. Mentioned in? It must Theories Of Product Liability inspected and tested Theories Of Product Liability different stages, made from the appropriate materials, and assembled carefully. Recognize that Theories Of Product Liability play Theories Of Product Liability vital role in policing Theories Of Product Liability free Theories Of Product Liability system by adjudicating how the true costs of modern consumer Theories Of Product Liability are allocated. Theories Of Product Liability plaintiff Theories Of Product Liability usually without a remedy in tort because it was the manufacturer and not the retailer whose negligence Theories Of Product Liability the harm.

What is Product Liability?

Proponents say it is preferable to place the economic costs on the manufacturer because it can better absorb them and pass them on to other consumers. The manufacturer thus becomes a de facto insurer against its defective products, with premiums built into the product's price. Strict liability also seeks to diminish the impact of information asymmetry between manufacturers and consumers. Manufacturers have better knowledge of their own products' dangers than do consumers. Therefore, manufacturers properly bear the burden of finding, correcting, and warning consumers of those dangers. Strict liability reduces litigation costs, because a plaintiff need only prove causation , not imprudence.

Where causation is easy to establish, parties to a strict liability suit will most likely settle, because only damages are in dispute. Critics charge that strict liability creates risk of moral hazard. They claim that strict liability causes consumers to under invest in care even when they are the least-cost avoiders. This, they say, results in a lower aggregate level of care than under a negligence standard. Proponents counter that people have enough natural incentive to avoid inflicting serious harm on themselves to mitigate this concern. Critics charge that the requiring manufacturers to internalize costs they would otherwise externalize increases the price of goods.

Critics claim that in elastic , price-sensitive markets, price increases cause some consumers to seek substitutes for that product. As a result, they say, manufacturers may not produce the socially optimal level of goods. Proponents respond that these consumer opt outs reflect a product whose absolute harm outweighs its absolute value; products that do more harm than good ought not be produced. In the law and economics literature, there is a debate about whether liability and regulation are substitutes or complements.

If they are complements, then the joint use of liability and regulation is optimal. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Main article: Strict liability. The American Journal of Comparative Law. JSTOR Comparative Tort Law: Global Perspectives. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing. ISBN Retrieved 1 May Comparative Product Liability. Aldershot: Dartmouth Publishing Company. National Law Journal. Retrieved 11 August Journal of Tort Law.

Walter de Gruyter GmbH. ISSN S2CID Products Liability Law 3rd ed. Paul: West Academic. Handbook of Research on International Consumer Law 2nd ed. Retrieved 31 May Edward Oxford: Oxford University Press. Understanding Products Liability Law. Newark: Matthew Bender. Carrington, Paul D. Retrieved 12 February Law 4th ed. American Law in the 20th Century. New Haven: Yale University Press. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. Retrieved 19 January Ford Motor Co. American Motors Corp. Marquette Law Review. Transamerica Delaval Inc. Product Liability. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. New York: Alfred A. Retrieved 29 August Durham: Duke University Press. Product Liability: Winning Strategies and Techniques. New York: Law Journal Press.

As you can see from Figure A minor breach occurs when the breaching party has achieved a level of substantial performance —that is, completed nearly all the terms of the contract. In the event of a minor breach, the nonbreaching party may seek damages. A material break occurs when one party renders inferior performance —performance that destroys the value of the contract. In such cases, the nonbreaching party may seek to rescind the contract and to recover damages to compensate for any payments made to the breaching party.

Strict liability torts involve actions that are inherently dangerous and for which a party may be liable no matter how carefully he or she performs them. The doctrine of strict liability rests on two legal conclusions:. Upbeat Pharmaceutical Company manufactures a flu vaccine. Several people who got the vaccine became ill. One of them required hospitalization for two weeks. Medical experts believe the vaccine was the cause of their illnesses. Do the people who got sick after taking the vaccine have a valid claim against Upbeat? On what basis? Previous Section. Table of Contents. Next Section. Define strict liability and explain the doctrine of strict liability in tort. Define a warranty and distinguish between express warranties and implied warranties.

Identify the primary goal of tort law and distinguish between compensatory damages and punitive damages. Pursuing a Claim of Product Liability It comes as no surprise when your lawyer advises an action for product liability Claim of injury suffered because of a defective product. Negligent failure to warn. The manufacturer may be liable if the company knew or should have known that, without a warning, the ladder would be dangerous in ordinary use or in any reasonably foreseeable use. That mistake, however, is a reasonably foreseeable use of the product, and if the manufacturer failed to warn you of this possibility, the company is liable for failure to warn.

Negligent design. As the term suggests, this principle applies to defectively designed products. Negligence per se. The manufacturer may be liable if the ladder fails to meet legal standards. According to standards set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA , for example, the rungs on your ladder should be corrugated or covered with skid-resistant material to minimize slipping. He goes on to explain that under this doctrine, your right to compensation for injury is based on two legal suppositions: Certain products put people at risk of injury no matter how much care is taken to prevent injury. The manufacturer can protect itself by purchasing insurance and passing the cost on to the public in the form of higher product prices.

Again, the public enjoys no such protection. Types of Warranties A warranty Guarantee that a product meets certain standards of performance. Express Warranties An express warranty Warranty created when a seller affirms that a product meets certain standards of quality, description, performance, or condition. Implied Warranties There are two types of implied warranties Warranty arising automatically out of a transaction.

An implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose affirms that the product is fit for some specific use. The Goals of Tort Law Imposing damages is the chief means by which the legal system meets the primary goal of tort law—compensating injured parties, or, more precisely, restoring victims to the conditions that they would have been in had their injuries never taken place. Compensatory Damages The most common type of damages sought by plaintiffs, compensatory damages Monetary awards intended to restore tort victims to the conditions that they would have been in had their injuries never taken place.

Punitive Damages Awarded in addition to compensatory damages, punitive damages Monetary awards to tort victims intended to deter similar injurious conduct in the future. The Goals of Contract Law Note that basically the same types of damages are available in cases involving contract law, which we discussed previously. In many states, one judge is appointed to handle all cases involving claims against such a manufacturer. The litigation process can prove costly for defendants because they may have to defend themselves in many different states. The resulting verdicts or negotiated settlements can also be very expensive to companies. Businesses have sought relief from state legislatures and Congress regarding product liability, contending that the shifting legal standards make them vulnerable to even the most suspect claim.

Some states have passed laws that provide manufacturers with the right to defend themselves by showing that their product met generally acceptable safety standards when made. This assertion is known as the state-of-the-art defense, which relieves manufacturers of the task of attempting to make a perfect product. An injured consumer cannot recover on the theory that the product would have been safe had the manufacturer incorporated safety features that were developed after the product was made. Consumer advocates have opposed such laws because they allow manufacturers to avoid liability.

The advocates argue that these laws discourage innovation because higher safety standards are set as improvements are made. Businesses have also attempted to set maximum amounts that persons can recover for Punitive Damages. Some states have capped awards for punitive damages. Gore , U. The case involved an automobile purchaser who brought action against a foreign automobile manufacturer, American distributor, and dealer based on the distributor's failure to disclose that the automobile had been repainted after being damaged prior to delivery.

The Supreme Court ruled unanimously the punitive damages award was excessive. In this case, the Court devised three factors to assist trial judges in determining whether a jury's punitive damages award were excessive: 1 the degree of reprehensibility of the defendant's conduct; 2 the disparity between the harm or potential harm suffered by the plaintiff and the punitive damages award; and 3 the difference between the punitive damages award and the civil or criminal penalties authorized or imposed in comparable cases.

The BMW case showed that there were limits under the Constitution to the amount of punitive damages that could be imposed. For the most part, product liability law is governed by state law. Occasionally, the federal government will move to preempt an entire area of product liability law from state control in order to protect a certain group of manufacturers. Under the act, a biomaterials supplier may only be held liable in three situations: 1 when the supplier is a manufacturer of medical implants under the act; 2 when the supplier is a seller of medical implants; or 3 when the supplier sold materials that did not meet contractual specifications of the manufacturer.

More problematically, a court will have to decide whether an area of product liability is affected by a federal law that does not expressly preempt product liability suits but may indicate the federal government wished such suits to be preempted. For implied Preemption , the Supreme Court has recognized two subcategories: field pre-emption and conflict pre-emption. Under field pre-emption, a state statute is superceded when a federal statute wholly occupies a particular field and takes away state power to supplement it.

Conflict pre-emption occurs when compliance with both the federal and state statute is impossible, and the state law stands as an obstacle to the legislative objectives of Congress. An example of conflict preemption was Geier v. American Honda Motor, Inc. The Court ruled the law suit was preempted in that it actually conflicted with department of transportation DOT standard, promulgated under National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act, requiring manufacturers to place driver's side airbags in some but not all automobiles.

The Court noted the rule of state law imposing duty to install airbag would have presented an obstacle to variety and mix of safety devices and gradual passive restraint phase-in sought by the DOT standard. Gasaway, Robert R. Moore, Michael J. Washington, D. Mulherin, Joseph. American Honda Motor Company, Inc. These can include faulty auto brakes, contaminated baby food, exploding bottles of beer, flammable children's pajamas, or lack of label warnings. Examples: Beauty Queen Hair Products makes a hair-permanent kit in which the formula will cause loss of hair to women with sensitive scalps, and Molly Makeup has her hair done at the Bon Ton Beauty Shop and suffers scalp burns and loss of hair.

Molly has a claim for damages against Beauty Queen, the manufacturer. Big Boy Trucks makes a truck with a faulty steering gear, bought by Tom Holdtight. The gear fails and Holdtight runs off the road and breaks his back. Holdtight can sue Big Boy for the damages. The key element in products liability law is that a person who suffers harm need not prove negligence, since the negligence is "presumed" and the result is "strict liability" absolute responsibility on the seller, distributor and manufacturer.

However, all those possibly responsible should be named in the suit as defendants if they are known. See: warrant , warranty. Related to product liability: Workplace violence , Uniform Commercial Code. Product Liability The responsibility of a manufacturer or vendor of goods to compensate for injury caused by defective merchandise that it has provided for sale. Theories of Liability In most jurisdictions, a plaintiff's cause of action may be based on one or more of four different theories: Negligence , breach of Warranty , Misrepresentation , and strict tort liability.

Historical Development The history of the law of product liability is largely a history of the erosion of the doctrine of privity, which states that an injured person can sue the negligent person only if he or she was a party to the transaction with the injured person. Negligence The duty to guard against negligence and supply a safe product applies to everyone in the chain of distribution, including a manufacturer who carelessly makes a defective product, the company that uses the product to assemble something else without discovering an obvious defect, and the vendor who should exercise greater care in offering products for sale.

Breach of Warranty Warranties are certain kinds of express or implied representations of fact that the law will enforce against the warrantor. Strict Liability The rule of strict liability applied in product liability suits makes a seller responsible for all defective items that unreasonably threaten the personal safety of a consumer or the consumer's property. Defects A critical issue in a product liability lawsuit is whether the product contains a defect, which is an imperfection that renders a product unsafe for its intended use. Cause of Injuries The issue of causation of injuries can be complicated, particularly if the product involved is only an indirect or remote cause, or one of a number of causes.

Risks A manufacturer has the duty to make the product as safe as possible. Unavoidable Dangers Although manufacturers and sellers have a duty to take precautions and provide adequate warnings and instructions, the public can still obtain products that are unavoidably unsafe. Multiparty Litigation Since the s, groups of plaintiffs have filed consolidated lawsuits against the manufacturers of certain products. Product Liability Reform Businesses have sought relief from state legislatures and Congress regarding product liability, contending that the shifting legal standards make them vulnerable to even the most suspect claim. Further readings Gasaway, Robert R. Kinzie, Mark A. Product Liability Litigation. Albany, N. West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2.

Copyright The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved. Hill and Kathleen T. All Right reserved. Mentioned in? References in periodicals archive? Another thing to consider is whether the insurer will indemnify or pay on behalf of the insured in a product liability incident. Talc, product liability insurance and recent class action lawsuits. MYTH TWO: Product liability reform won't have any effect on our competitiveness because when we are selling abroad we are playing by foreign rules. The case for product liability reform--now. In product liability insurance as in other purchases, things often are cheaper for a reason.

Managing the risk of insurance coverage denials. Secret 1: Over the years, your broker has seemingly done you a favor by completing the product liability renewal application for you, and submitting it to the carrier for quoting purposes. More planning tips for successful supplement companies: careful attention to details and a knowledgeable insurance advisor could save you from disaster. Since the stakes are high for poor decisions, one aspect of managing product liability risk involves selecting quality counsel for legal defense. To win a product liability claim, pick the right litigator.

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