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BLS CH 10 Product Liability
Terms in this set (17)
A defect in an individual product that makes the product more dangerous than other, identical products
A defect that is found in all products of a particular design and renders them dangerous.
Failure to Provide Adequate Warnings
A defect in which the product is not labeled to indicate that it can be dangerous
To win a case based on negligence the plaintiff must prove the 4 elements:
1) the defendant manufacturer or seller owned a duty of care to the plaintiff
2) the defendant breached that duty of care by supplying a defective product.
3) this breach of duty caused the plaintiffs injury
4) the plaintiff suffered an actual injury.
Negligent Failure to Warn
The plaintiff must demonstrate that the defendant knew or should have known that without warning, the product would be dangerous in its ordinary use, or any reasonably foreseeable use, yet the defendant still failed to provide a warning.
Negligence per se
When a law establishes labeling, design or content requirements for products, the manufacturer has a duty to meet these requirements. If the plaintiff can establish that the failure to meet such a standard caused injury, the plaintiff can recover under negligence per se. A statute violation that causes the harm that the statute was enacted to prevent.
Compensatory and Punitive both apply.
Assumption of the risk
This defense arises when a consumer knows that a defect exists but still proceeds unreasonably to make use of the product, creating a situation in which the consumer has voluntarily assumed the risk of injury from the defect and thus cannot recover damages.
A defense for product liability, the misuse must be unreasonable or unforeseeable, the defendant is really arguing that the harm was caused not by the defendants negligence but by the plaintiffs failure to properly use the product.
Strict Product Liability
Court may hold liable the manufacturer, the distributor or the retailer to any reasonably foreseeable party. The actions of the manufacturer or seller are not relevant, rather strict product liability focuses on the product. The plaintiff must prove 3 things:
1) the product was defective when sold
2) the product was so defective that the product was unreasonably dangerous
3) the product was the cause of the plaintiffs injury.
Defenses to Strict Product Liability Actions
Most of the defenses to a negligence-based product liability claim are available in a strict product liability case. These defenses include product misuse, assumption of the risk and lapse of time under statutes of limitation and statues of repose.
A guarantee or binding promise regarding a product.
--an assurance, either expressed or implied by one party that the other part can rely on its representation of fact.
--in sales, a binding promise regarding a product in the event that the product does not meet the manufacturers or sellers promises.
Any description of a goods physical nature or its use, either in general or specific circumstances, that becomes part of a contract. The representation may be a written or verbal guarantee about the product. The plaintiff must show that 1) the representation was the basis of the bargain and 2) there was a breach of the representation.
ex: car dealer makes an express statement that the car will work perfectly for the first 30,000 miles.
Implied Warranty of Merchantability
An assurance, inferred in every sale unless clearly disclaimed, that merchantable goods will conform to a reasonable performance expectation. The purchaser must have purchased or leased the good from a merchant. The plaintiff must show that the goods are fit for the purpose of which they are sold and used.
ex: consumer bought an "unbreakable" baseball bat that started cracking after repeated use of hitting baseballs, consumer is entitled to a refund.
Implied Warranty of Fitness for a Particular Purpose
An assurance, inferred in any UCC sale, that when a seller/lessor knows or has reason to know:
1)why the buyer/lessee is purchasing/leasing the good
2) the buyer/lessee relying on the sellers skills/judgement to select the particular good,
3) the buyer/lessee has an enforceable warranty if such assurance is false. The particular plaintiff must showthat the customer purchased a product for a particular purpose and the seller was aware of this purpose.
Market Share Liability
When plaintiffs cannot trace a product to any particular manufacturer and a number of manufacturers produce the same product, a court may use the theory of market share liability to impose a portion of fault on a number of manufacturers.
Market Share Theory
Makes recovery possible today for plaintiffs who cannot trace back to a specific manufacturer. California Supreme Court in the case of Sindell vs Abbott Laboratories.
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