Products Liability Liability for Defective Products Products Liability

Products Liability Liability for Defective Products Products Liability

Products Liability Liability for Defective Products Products Liability Definition: 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 Personal injuries Past, present and future Fair and adequate compensation Medical expenses

Lost earnings Pain and suffering Impaired future earnings capacity Property damage Punitive damages (most states) Punitive Damages

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 Airline crashes Legal Theories

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

Liability without fault Raw Oysters Naturally contaminated How do you prove a food product is defective Can foods be made risk free? Congress doesnt think so Proximate Causation

Negligence 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

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 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 Implied = given by someone in the business of selling Effect of HACCP HACCP can be evidence that defendant took reasonable care Not negligence because:

HACCP shows that manufacture use reasonable care Not Breach of Warranty because: Following HACCP means product means prevailing standard of quality

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