Class 15 - Tort Law III - Class 15 Tort Law III 1 History...

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Business Law and the Legal Environment, Standard Edition
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Chapter 40 / Exercise 2
Business Law and the Legal Environment, Standard Edition
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Class 15: Tort Law III Class 15: Tort Law III 1. History of Strict Liability 2. Abnormally Dangerous Activities 3. Restatement Second of Torts § 402A – “Defective and Unreasonably Dangerous” 4. Restatement Third of Torts: Products Liability : Design Defects, Manufacturing Defects, and Failure to Warn Defects 5. Market Share Liability 6. Defenses to Strict Liability 7. Strict Liability and Food Products 8. Review Questions
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Business Law and the Legal Environment, Standard Edition
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Chapter 40 / Exercise 2
Business Law and the Legal Environment, Standard Edition
Beatty
Expert Verified
History of Strict Liability History of Strict Liability Strict Liability: Defendants are held liable for harm irrespective of fault. Early Cases: Owners of dangerous animals, such as bears, lions, and alligators, were held strictly liable for any damages those animals caused. Liability then expanded into “abnormally dangerous activities,” and then, most recently, products liability.
Abnormally Dangerous Activities Abnormally Dangerous Activities Strict liability is typically imposed in cases of “abnormally dangerous activities” 1. Use and storage of explosives? Yes – a party who uses or stores explosives is generally held strictly liable for any damages that may result. 2. Crop dusting or spraying? Yes 3. Airplane accidents? Generally no – in cases of a suit by a passenger against a carrier. It is necessary for the plaintiff to show negligence, either on the part of the pilot, the maintenance crew, the manufacturer, etc. 4. The running of a nuclear reactor? Yes 5. Toxic Chemicals and Flammable Liquids? Maybe. Transporters of gasoline and propane have often been held strictly liable for spills and explosions (Siegler v. Kuhlman, spillage of gasoline from a truck). But some courts have denied strict liability in this situation, either on the grounds that the activity is not all that unusual , or on the grounds that the risk could be eliminated by the exercise of reasonable care. (Indiana Harbor Belt Co. v. American Cyanamid Co., holding that a negligence standard would adequately handle the problem of spillage of flammable materials during transportation). 6. Manufacturers of Fireworks? Yes
(1) One who sells any product in a defective condition unreasonably dangerous to the user or consumer, or to his property, is subject to liability for physical harm thereby caused to the ultimate user or consumer, or to his property if: (a) The seller is engaged in the business of selling such a product, and (b) It is expected to and does reach the user or consumer without substantial change in the condition in which it is sold. Plaintiff only needs to prove that: 1) A product was defective; 2) This defect caused the product to be unreasonably dangerous; 3) The product has not been changed or modified by the plaintiff; and 4) plaintiff has suffered damage using the product.

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