Flashcards in Part Six: Strict Liability (Liability without Fault) Deck (22)
In general, what is the prima facie case for strict liability?
1. nature of D's activity imposes an ABSOLUTE DUTY TO MAKE SAFE;
2. the dangerous aspect of the activity was the ACTUAL and PROXIMATE cause of P's injury;
3. P suffered DAMAGE to person or property
What is animal owner's liability for trespassing animals?
Owner is STRICTLY LIABLE for reasonably foreseeable damage done by trespass of his animals
What is animal owner's liability for personal injury caused by wild animals?
- Owner is STRICTLY LIABLE to licensees and invitees for injuries caused by WILD animals (even those kept as pets).
-Strict liability will generally not be imposed in favor of trespassers in the absence of owner's negligence
What is animal owner's liability for personal injury caused by domestic animals?
-An owner is NOT strictly liable for injuries caused by DOMESTIC animals (including farm animals) UNLESS he has knowledge of that particular animal's dangerous propensities that are not common to the species.
-Injuries caused by the normally dangerous characteristics of domestic animals (ie...bee stingers, bull horns) do NOT give rise to strict liability
What is the rule regarding "Strict liability" and "abnormally dangerous activities"?
Two requirements for finding an activity to be abnormally dangerous:
1. activity must create a FORESEEABLE risk of SERIOUS HARM even when reasonable care is exercised;
2. activity is NOT a MATTER OF COMMON USAGE in the community
What is the rule regarding "strict liability" and harm resulting from normally dangerous characteristic?
-D's liability extends only to FORESEEABLE P's
-the harm must result from the kind of danger to be anticipated from the dangerous activity/animal.
Hence, strict liability does NOT apply when the injury is caused by something other than the dangerous aspect of the activity.
Example --> dynamite truck blows tire and hits pedestrian but doesn't explode
Is "Assumption of Risk" a good defense to strict liability cases?
What is the rule regarding "contributory negligence" and strict liability?
In "contributory negligence" states,
contributory negligence is NO defense ---> if P failed to realize the danger or guard against it
contributory negligence is defense --> if:
1. P knew of the danger; AND
2. his unreasonable conduct was the very cause of the harm from the wild animal or abnormally dangerous activity.
What is the rule regarding "comparative negligence" and strict liability?
Most comparative negligence states apply their comparative negligence rules to strict liability cases
What are the two issues that arise regarding "strict liability" and animals?
What is liability for:
1. Trespassing Animals
2. Personal Injury Caused by Animals
What is the prima facie case for "strict liability" for products liability?
1. commercial supplier of product;
2. selling or producing DEFECTIVE product;
3. ACTUAL and PROXIMATE cause
NOTE: for liability to attach, the product must reach P without substantial alteration
For "strict liability" for products liability, who is permitted to sue?
Users, customers, bystanders
For "strict liability" for products liability, who can be held strictly liable?
- Any commercial supplier, including a commercial lessor in most states.
NOT --> casual sellers
For "strict liability" for products liability, what is the rule if a product is provided incident to a service?
- Strict liability applies ONLY to products.
-Even where a product is provided INCIDENT to a service, there is no strict liability (ie...blood given during operation)
For "strict liability" for products liability, what is the rule regarding "defective product"?
- P must show that product is defective (manufacture/design)
- Defect must make product dangerous beyond the expectation of ordinary customer
For "strict liability" for products liability, what is the rule regarding liability of retailers?
- retailers may be liable even if they had no opportunity to inspect the product
For "strict liability" for products liability, what is the rule regarding 'actual cause'?
-To establish 'actual cause' - P must show that the defect existed when product left defendant's control
-If defect is difficult to trace, P may rely on inference that this type of defect would occur only as a result of product defect
For "strict liability" for products liability, what is the rule regarding 'proximate cause'?
proximate cause is same as in negligence cases
For "strict liability" for products liability, what is the rule regarding damages?
- Physical Injury OR property damage must be shown.
-Recovery will be denied if purely for economic damages
For "strict liability" for products liability, what is the rule regarding "contributory negligence"?
In contributory negligence states --> ordinary contributory negligence is NO defense if:
1. P merely failed to discover the defect or guard against its existence; OR
2. P's misuse was reasonably foreseeable
For "strict liability" for products liability, what is the rule regarding assumption of risk?
Assumption of risk is a defense.
Assumption of risk must be made knowingly and voluntarily.