Chapter 7 \u7b14\u8bb0.docx - Chapter 7 1 In this chapter we look at a category of tort called strict liability or liability without fault Under the doctrine

Chapter 7 u7b14u8bb0.docx - Chapter 7 1 In this chapter...

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Chapter 7 1. In this chapter, we look at a category of tort called strict liability, or liability without fault. Under the doctrine of strict liability, a person who engages in certain activities can be held responsible for any harm that results to others, even if the person used the utmost care. 2. We then look at an area of tort law of particular importance to business persons —product liability. The manufacturers and sellers of products may incur product liability when product defects cause injury or property damage to consumers, users, or bystanders. 3. Although multimillion-dollar product liability claims often involve big automakers, pharmaceutical companies, or tobacco companies, many businesses face potential liability. For instance, a number of product liability lawsuits have been filed claiming that energy drinks like Monster, Red Bull, and Rockstar have serious adverse effects—especially on young people. A man who swallowed a bone fragment while eating sued McDonald’s in 2015 for allegedly defective chicken McNuggets. 4. Product liability lawsuits also reach across international borders. Takata Corporation, a global company that supplies seat belts, airbags, and other automobile safety systems, is being sued by hundreds of plaintiffs in the United States. Takata manufactured allegedly defective airbags, which violently exploded and ejected metal debris, resulting in injuries and deaths.Footnote Takata has already paid a $70 million penalty to the National Highway Safety Administration for failing to promptly disclose defects in its airbags, millions of which have now been recalled. 5. British courts liberally applied the doctrine that emerged from the case. Initially, though, few U.S. courts accepted the doctrine, presumably because the courts were worried about its effect on the expansion of American business. Today, however, the doctrine of strict liability is the norm rather than the exception. 6. Abnormally Dangerous Activities 7. Strict liability for damages proximately caused by an abnormally dangerous, or ultrahazardous, activity is one application of strict liability. Courts apply the doctrine of strict liability in these situations because of the extreme risk of the activity. Abnormally dangerous activities are those that involve a high risk of serious harm to persons or property that cannot be completely guarded against by the exercise of reasonable care. 8. Activities such as blasting or storing explosives qualify as abnormally dangerous, for instance. Even if blasting with dynamite is performed with all reasonable care, there is still a risk of injury. Considering the potential for harm, it seems reasonable to ask the person engaged in the activity to pay for injuries caused by that activity. Although there is no fault, there is still responsibility because of the dangerous nature of the undertaking.

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