Products Liability Flashcards
What are the 3 allegations of defect for products liability?
What is a seller’s duty to consumers?
Seller owes a general duty of care to consumers who purchase and use its products
How is a design defect evaluated?
- Consumer Expectations Test
- Risk/Utility test (is there a reasonable alternative?)
What are the 2 elements of causation in products liability?
- product must be linked to injury
- product must be defective when marketed
What is the scope of liability in products liability?
- foreseeable use
- foreseeable user
What is the policy behind manufacturer defects?
- manufacturer incurs absolute liability when he has placed an article into the market without inspection
- those who suffer from defective products are often unprepared to meet its costs
What are the 3 elements of a manufacturer defect?
1) product deviated from manufacturing specifications
2) product was defective when it left the factory (P didn’t alter, used it appropriately)
3) P was injured because of the defect
* jury can make inference whether there was defect
Which do manufacturers fight more, manufacturing or design defects? Why?
Design defects; forces a change in design and a recall
What is the Consumer Expectations Test (CET)?
1) D sold product and it was unchanged
2) P used product in reasonably foreseeable manner and suffered harm
3) product didn’t perform as safely as a reasonable consumer would expect
What is the “open and obvious danger” exception to the CET?
if a product poses an open and obvious danger (i.e. lighters), consumer cannot reasonably expect it to be completely safe (not common)
How do advertisements affect CET?
they can create false consumer expectations about the safe and proper way to use the products
What did Campbell v. GM establish about the CET? (bus lacked proper handrails)
- CET can use common experience to determine if product’s design was reasonable
- expert testimony not always needed
What is the Risk/Utility Test (R/U)?
1) weighs the benefit of the product against the risks of harm (likelihood/gravity of potential harm, feasibility of alternate design, etc.)
2) usually requires experts
3) reasonable alternative design not required, but P brings one if possible
What must D prove in R/U test?
after P proves he was injured by D’s product, D must prove benefit of product as-is outweighs risk
What is a manufacturer’s duty to consumers regarding warnings?
1) to warn users of risks 2) to provide instructions for safe use