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Products Liability Overview

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by

Brigham Fordham

on 30 September 2014

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Transcript of Products Liability Overview

warning defect
Defendant is a merchant.
The defect was the cause in fact of plaintiff’s harm.
The defect was the proximate cause of plaintiff’s harm.
Plaintiff suffered physical harm or property damage.
manufacturing defect
design defect
Plaintiff claims she was injured because the scissors she bought had an imperfection.

DEFECT: Missing piece

The scissors that plaintiff purchased looked like this.

Scissor Co. designed the scissors to look like this.

Under Rest2d, π must prove the product was “unreasonably dangerous to the user or consumer or to his property.”
Under Rest 3d, π must prove “the product depart[ed] from its intended design.”

Under Rest 2d, π must prove the lack of warnings rendered the product “unreasonably dangerous to the user or consumer or to his property.”
Under Rest 3d, π must prove that “the foreseeable risks of harm posed by the product could have been reduced or avoided by . . . reasonable instructions or warnings . . . and the omission of the instructions or warnings renders the product not reasonably safe.”

Under Rest 2d, π must prove the product was “dangerous to an extent beyond that which would be contemplated by the ordinary consumer.”
Under Rest 3d, π must prove:
1) the foreseeable risks of the product design outweighed its utility, and
2) there was a reasonable alternative design.*

products
liability

Plaintiff claims Scissor Co. should have designed the scissors to look like this.

DEFECT: Pointed edges

The scissors that plaintiff purchased looked like this.

Scissor Co. designed the scissors to look like this.

Plaintiff claims Scissor Co. should have attached a warning like this to the scissors.

The scissors that plaintiff purchased looked like this.

Scissor Co. designed the scissors to look like this.

DEFECT: No warning of pointed edges

WARNING!
KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN!
DO NOT RUN WITH SCISSORS!

To make a prima facia case for products liability, plaintiff must show SIX elements:
What does a MANUFACTURING defect look like?
What does a DESIGN defect look like?
What does a WARNING defect look like?
Defendant must be "in the business" of selling or distributing the kind of product.
It doesn't matter if defendant caused the defect or even knew about it. What matters is that the defect was present when defendant sold the product.
Plaintiff must show she wouldn't have suffered the harm if the product had not been defective.
Plaintiff must show that her harm was FORESEEABLE.
The product was defective.
2.
It was defective when it left defendant’s hands.
3.
4.
5.
6.
1.
You can't recover for purely economic losses.
First type of defect:
Second type of defect:
Third type of defect:
MANUFACTURING DEFECT
MANUFACTURING DEFECT
DESIGN DEFECT
DESIGN DEFECT
WARNING DEFECT
WARNING DEFECT
This overview addresses STRICT products liability
There are THREE kinds of defects
Full transcript