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product liability

liability of manufacturers, sellers, lessors, and others for injuries caused by defective products


a tort related to defective products in which the defendant has breached a duty of due care and caused harm to the plaintiff, plaintiff must prove that the defendant was at fault for causing his injuries

intentional misrepresentation

a tort in which a seller or lessor fraudulently misrepresents the quality of a product and a buyer is injured thereby (fraud)

strict liability

a tort doctrine that makes manufufacturer, distributors, wholesalers, retailers, and others in the chain of distribution of a defective product liable for the damages caused by the defect, irrespective of fault.. casual sales excluded

liability without fault

strict liability

chain of distribution

all manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, retailers, lessors, and subcomponent manufacturers involved in a transaction

privity of contract

doctrine applies even if the injured party had no contractual relations with the defendant

product defect

something wrong, inadequate, or improper in the manufacture design, packaging, warning, or instructions about a product

defect in manufacture

a defect that occurs when a manufacturer fails to 1) properly assemble a product 2) properly test a product 3) adequately check the quality of the product (missing screw)

defect in design

a defect that occurs when a product is improperly designed (toys with removable parts swallowed by children)

crashworthiness doctrine

doctrine that says automobile manufacturers are under a duty to design automobiles so they take into account the possibility of harm from a person's body striking something inside the automobile in the case of a car accident

failure to warn

a defect that occurs when a manufacturer does not place a warning on the packaging of products that could cause injury if the danger is unknown

defect in packaging

a defect that occurs when a product has been placed in packaging that is insufficiently tamperproof

failure to provide adequate instructions

a defect that occurs when a manufacturer does not provide detailed directions for safe assembly and use of a product (tricycle instructions)

punitive damages

monetary damages that are awarded to punish a defendant who either intentionally or recklessly injured the plaintiff

generally known dangers

a defense that acknowledges that certain products are inherently dangerous and are known to the general population to be so (motorcycle)

government contractor defense

defense that says a contractor who was provided specs by the government is not liable for any defect in the product that occurs as a result of those specifications


if user is injured, a defense that relieves a seller of a product liability if the user ABNORMALLY MISUSED the product. seller liable, however, if there has been a foreseeable misuse of a product

supervening event

the original seller is not liable if the product is materially altered or modified after it leaves the seller's possession and the ALTERATION or MODIFICATION causes an injury. absolves all prior sellers in the chain of distribution from strict liability

statute of limitation

requires an injured person to bring an action within a certain number of years from the time that he or she was injured by a defective product. Failure to bring an action within the approrpriate time relieves the defendant of liability (starts when plaintiff suffers injury)

statute of repose

limits seller's liability to a certain number of years from the date when the product was first sold (starts when product is first sold)

contributory negligence

a defense that says a person who is injured by a defective product but has been negligent and has contributed to his or her own injuries cannot recover $ from the defendant.

comparative fault

a doctrine that applies to strict liability actions that says a plaintiff who is contributorily negligent for his or her injuries is responsible for a proportional share of the damages

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