Flashcards in Part Seven: Products Liability Deck (11)
What does "products liability" refer to?
"products liability" --> refers to the liability of a supplier of a defective product to someone injured by the product
What are the 5 theories of liability for products liability?
3. strict liability*
4. implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose
5. representation theories (express warranty and misrepresentation)
NOTE --> if Q doesn't specify which theory to apply, use "strict liability" bc it's the easiest to prove
What element are required for EVERY products liability case, regardless of theory?
Under EVERY theory, P must show:
(i) manufacturing defects
(ii) design defects
(iii) inadequate warnings
2. existence of defect when product left defendant's control
NOTE --> this will be INFERRED if product moved through normal channels of production
What is a "manufacturing defect"?
What is a "design defect"?
What is an "inadequate warning"?
"manufacturing defect" --> product is different from and more dangerous than products made properly
"design defect" --> All products of same line are identical but have dangerous propensities
"inadequate warning" --> manufacturer failed to give adequate warnings as to risks involved in using the product that may not be apparent to users
NOTE --> for prescription drugs/medical devices, warnings given to physicians is usually sufficient
What is the standard for proving a "manufacturing defect"?
Product failed to perform as SAFELY as an ORDINARY CONSUMER would expect.
NOTE --> also applies to defective food products
NOTE --> D must anticipate REASONABLE misuse
What is the standard for proving a "design defect" or "inadequate warning"?
P must show -->
-D could have made product SAFER without SERIOUS IMPACT on PRICE or UTILITY
With regards to proving the existence of a defect, what is the effect of compliance or non-compliance w government safety standards?
Non-compliance --> establishes that product was defective
Compliance --> is EVIDENCE, but not conclusive, that product is NOT defective
Is D in products liability case responsible for unforeseeable or unknowable risks?
What is D's liability in products liability for "unavoidably unsafe products" ?
D will NOT be held liable If:
1. danger is APPARENT; AND
2. there is NO SAFER WAY to make the product
EXAMPLE --> knives
What rules apply w regards to "products liability based on intent" ?
Who can sue?
What damages are available?
General rule --> D will be liable to ANYONE injured by an unsafe product if D:
(1) INTENDED the consequences; OR
(2) KNEW that they were substantially certain to occur
NOTE --> Not very common. But if there is intent, the most likely tort is battery.
Who can sue? --> any injured P. Privity is NOT required.
Damages? --> may collect COMPENSATORY and PUNITIVE damages
Defenses --> all intentional tort defenses