Products Liability Liability for Defective Products Products Liability

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Products Liability “Liability for Defective Products”

Products Liability “Liability for Defective Products”

Products Liability n Definition: n n n Corporate liability for injuries or damages suffered

Products Liability n Definition: n n n Corporate liability for injuries or damages suffered by the user from defective products Restatement of Torts (Section 402(a)) Applies to manufacturers, sellers and distributors of goods

Recoverable Damages n Personal injuries n n Past, present and future Fair and adequate

Recoverable Damages n Personal injuries n n Past, present and future Fair and adequate compensation Medical expenses Lost earnings n n Pain and suffering Impaired future earnings capacity Property damage Punitive damages n (most states)

Punitive Damages n n n Awarded to Plaintiff over and above full compensation for

Punitive Damages n n n Awarded to Plaintiff over and above full compensation for injuries Intended to “punish” defendant and “deter” others from following the defendants example Example: Coffee spill cases n Airline crashes n

Legal Theories n n “Causes of action” Legal theory under which plaintiff believes damages

Legal Theories n n “Causes of action” Legal theory under which plaintiff believes damages should be awarded Basis of courts jurisdiction Three theories in Product liability cases: Negligence n Breach of Warranty n Strict Liability n

Strict Liability n n Liability without fault Raw Oysters n n Naturally contaminated How

Strict Liability n n Liability without fault Raw Oysters n n Naturally contaminated How do you prove a food product is “defective” n Can foods be made risk free? n n Congress doesn’t think so Proximate Causation

Negligence n n n Most common cause of action in food law cases Failure

Negligence n n n Most common cause of action in food law cases Failure to exercise reasonable care under circumstances “Prudent food processor” Contributory Negligence Duty, breach, damages

“Negligence Per Se” n n n Violation of a regulation which was designed to

“Negligence Per Se” n n n Violation of a regulation which was designed to prevent the type of harm suffered by the plaintiff HACCP is a regulation specifically designed to prevent contamination Failure of follow HACCP may be “NPS”

Breach of Warranty n n n Manufacture liable if product was not “reasonably safe”

Breach of Warranty n n n Manufacture liable if product was not “reasonably safe” and did not conform to an express or implied warranty Strict liability if warranty breached Express vs. Implied Warranties Express = “basis of the bargain” n Implied = given by someone “in the business n of selling”

Effect of HACCP n n HACCP can be evidence that defendant took “reasonable care”

Effect of HACCP n n HACCP can be evidence that defendant took “reasonable care” Not negligence because: n n HACCP shows that manufacture use reasonable care Not Breach of Warranty because: n Following HACCP means product means “prevailing standard of quality”