consumer or to his/her 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 i. This limits application of the strict liability theory to those engaged in business of selling the products in question b. It is expected to and does reach the user or consumer without substantial change in the condition in which it is sold i. Should be properly packaged so that it will not deteriorate or be rendered dangerous within a reasonable period of time under normal conditions 2. The rule stated in subsection (1) applies although a. The seller has exercised all possible care in the preparation and sale of his product i. Products must be in defective condition when the leave the seller for this to apply ii. Subsequent alteration or further processing may operate to relieve the seller of liability (taking safety guards off) iii. Plaintiff's injury must occur as a result of a defect in the product itself, rather than from conditions surrounding its use or consumption for this to apply b. The user or consumer has not bought the product from or entered into any contractual relation with the seller i. Whole section (2) makes it clear that negligence and privity are not issues under the strict liability theory
● Strict liability may be viewed as an extension of the implied warranty of merchantability, where the warranty theory was applied to foreign objects in food and drink ● Section 402A covers only sales of products, not services ● A strict liability action differs from a negligence action in that the plaintiff need not prove the defect resulted from the defendant’s failure to use reasonable cars ○ In failure-to-warn cases the manufacturer will almost always be found negligent ● Defective conditions may result not only from flaws or harmful ingredients within the product but also from foreign objects in its composition and defects in its container ○ EX) if an adult drinks too much beer and becomes sick, the seller is not liable ● What constitutes an “unreasonably” dangerous product? ○ If existing technology and scientific knowledge are insufficient to produce a completely safe result ■ EX) the rabies vaccine: has dangerous side effects but it is the only existing treatment against the deadly disease ○ Unavoidably unsafe products must be accompanied by instructions and warnings KNIGHT V. JUST BORN, INC. Issue: Hot Tamales didn’t warn the consumer that this could possibly happen ● Basically a guy ate a poisonous Hot Tamale that burned out the inside of his mouth and caused disgusting harm Ruling: summary judgement denied bc there was explicit and implicit evidence and it needed to go to court ● Knight sued both Just Born inc and the manufacturer (Costo) in strict scrutiny liability; both plaintiff and defendants moved for summary judgement Application/Conclusion: Knight’s claim is not foreclosed by the lack of definite and specific direct
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- Spring '08
- Contract Law, Implied warranty, Product liability