GBL_395_-__SC__The_Law_of_Torts___Part_3

GBL_395_-__SC__The_Law_of_Torts___Part_3 - The Law of Torts...

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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? 2
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Strict Liability 3 The third theory of tort liability Ps - Allows Ps to recover damages in actions against _________________________________________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. It was __________________ and The _________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. Businesses that engage in unreasonably dangerous activities Examples : transporting certain chemicals; blasting; storing explosives; fumigation and oil drilling. These are usually defined by state law. 5
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Other Examples of Unreasonably Dangerous Activities 6 S prano 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. Did the P have to prove the driver was negligent? P did not need to show that the driver was negligent, only that gasoline transportation was a high-risk industry.
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Strict Liability – Public Policy Arguments Theory behind strict liability: There are certain products and activities that can place the public at risk even is he/she was not negligent – even if all reasonable care was taken The law should protect consumers from unsafe products
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