Strict Liability.pdf - ,121,1 Citation 65 N.C L Rev 257...

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+2(,11/,1(Citation: 65 N.C. L. Rev. 257 1986-1987 Content downloaded/printed from HeinOnline ()Mon Apr 21 08:03:33 2014-- Your use of this HeinOnline PDF indicates your acceptanceof HeinOnline's Terms and Conditions of the licenseagreement available at -- The search text of this PDF is generated from uncorrected OCR text.-- To obtain permission to use this article beyond the scopeof your HeinOnline license, please use:? &operation=go&searchType=0 &lastSearch=simple&all=on&titleOrStdNo=0029-2524
THE REVITALIZATION OF HAZARDOUSACTIVITY STRICT LIABILITYVIRGINIA E. NOLANtEDMUND URSINtGuided by the policies that sparked the strict products liabilityrevolution of the past quarter century, courts today are fashioning a doc-trine of hazardous activity strict liability with far-reaching implications.Although many observers have equated this doctrine with the Restate-ment of Torts and have viewed it as moribund, Professors Nolan andUrsin argue that courts are covertly and overtly rejecting the Restate-ment approach and that this strict liability doctrine is alive and well,with a variety of potential applications for attorneys and courts to con-sider. The authors trace these developments, discuss the contours of thisdoctrine, and suggest especially promising new applications.I. INTRODUCTIONDuring the past quarter century courts have embraced strict tort liability inan unprecedented fashion. Premised on articulated concerns of fairness, safety,the compensation of accident victims, and the spreading of accident costs, strictproducts liability has swept the nation.1 Since the California Supreme Court'spioneering pronouncement of strict tort liability for defective products in its1963 decision in Greenman v. Yuba Power Products, Inc.,2 courts, commenta-tors, and attorneys have considered whether strict products liability represents aprecursor to a wider enterprise liability, and, if so, what form that wider enter-prise liability might take.3 Proposals have been made for various new strict lia-Copyright © 1987, by Virginia E. Nolan and Edmund Ursint Professor of Law, University of San Diego School of Law. B.S. 1969, Russell Sage College;J.D. 1972, Albany Law School; LL.M. 1975, George Washington University.$ Professor of Law, University of San Diego School of Law. A.B. 1964, J.D. 1967, StanfordUniversity.1. See generally PROSSER & KEETON ON THE LAW OF TORTS §§ 93-104A (W. Keeton 5th ed.1984) [hereinafter PROSSER & KEETON] (extensive discussion of products liability law); see alsoUrsin, Judicial Creativity and Tort Law, 49 GEO. WASH. L. REV. 229, 299-304 (1981) (nationwideacceptance of strict products liability).2. 59 Cal. 2d 57, 377 P.2d 897, 27 Cal. Rptr. 697 (1963). In the landmark case of Henningsenv. Bloomfield Motors, Inc., 32 N.J. 358, 161 A.2d 69 (1960), the New Jersey Supreme Court ex-tended warranty recovery to plaintiffs not in privity with the defendant. Greenman made clear thatstrict products liability is essentially a tort cause of action. Greenman, 59 Cal.2d at 62, 377 P.2d at900, 27 Cal. Rptr. at 700.

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