Torts 3 - The Law of Torts: Part 3 (Strict Liability; and...

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GBL 395 – Part 11 Professor Heidi Bulich Fall 2010 The Law of Torts: Part 3 (Strict Liability; and the Product Liability Lawsuit) 1
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There are Different Rules for Some Products and/or Activities – Easier for P to Recover There are many dangerous products and/or activities which have become essential to our way of life but no amount of due care can make them absolutely safe . . . Example : Ladders – According to the CPSC, ladders cause 300 deaths and 130,000 injuries requiring emergency medical treatment Assume you are injured using a ladder, but you can not prove all the elements of negligence Who should bear the risk? The manufacturer / seller who can anticipate, detect and insure against the risk or you: the ordinary consumer ? 2
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Strict Liability 3 The third theory of tort liability Ps - Allows Ps to recover damages in actions against _all parties in the distribution chain – manufacturers, distributors or sellers of unreasonably dangerous defective and/or hazardous products and businesses that engage in unreasonably dangerous activities. Ds - Liability imposed on manufacturers, distributors and sellers of products and businesses that engage in unreasonably dangerous activities. Liability imposed even though they have exercised all possible care in the preparation and sale of the product and even if there is no privity between the manufacturer/seller and the P.
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What Do Ps Need to Prove? The product was in a defective condition when it left the possession of the seller Defective products may be the result of bad manufacturing or the failure to provide adequate instructions for the use of the product. Hardest element to prove - Wedge It was _unreasonably dangerous_ and The _defect was the cause of the injuries 4
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Strict Liability – Potential Ds All parties in the distribution chain: suppliers, manufacturers, transporters, sellers of products considered unreasonably dangerous to the user or consumer or to his property. Those engaged in the stream of commerce with respect to products should reasonably foresee that some people will misuse the product and should design the product so that injury does not incur Businesses that engage in unreasonably dangerous activities Examples : transporting certain 5
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Other Examples of Unreasonably Dangerous Activities 6 Sprano v. NY . D was blasting tunnel in NYC. Blast destroyed neighboring garage. D was not negligent. Would a person who suffered property damage as a result of the blasting have to prove negligence in order to recover? P did not have to prove that D was negligent, only that D was engaging in dangerous activities Rylands v. Fletcher . P killed when her car entered pool of thousands of gallons of gasoline. Tractor trailer had turned over, spilling gasoline onto the highway. The gasoline then burst into flames.
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Torts 3 - The Law of Torts: Part 3 (Strict Liability; and...

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