Products Liability Research Paper

Product liability law regulates relationships between manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, and customers. The aim of the liability law is to protect customers from damaged, dangerous and defective products produced by manufactures and sold by wholesalers and retail sellers.

Depending upon local law and jurisdiction the product liability actions can be considered under a number of theories. There are three main theories when a plaintiff’s cause of action may be based on:

  1. negligence;
  2. breach of warranty;
  3. strict tort liability.

Each theory has certain advantageous and disadvantageous which depend on whether the theory is based on a tort (e.g., negligence and strict liability in tort) or a contract (e.g., breach of warranty).

Let’s discuss each theory and decide under which Charles might sue the manufacturer and/or the retailer.

Negligence

It means that the manufacturing company can be found negligence for the absence of, or failure to exercise, proper or ordinary care of its products. In such actions the plaintiff must demonstrate that manufactures and sellers are obliged to provide goods fit for their foreseeable uses and if the plaintiff is injured it was resulted by improper exercise of reasonable care in the design, manufacture, or inspection process and the company has failed to meet its foreseeable obligations.

Under this theory Charles could sue the manufacture and/or the seller and in order to succeed he should prove one of the following:

  1. the defendant owed him or her a duty (called the duty of due care),
  2. the defendant breached that duty in some respect,
  3. the breach of duty was the proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injury,
  4. the plaintiff suffered a legally recognizable injury and was damaged.

The weakness of this theory is that usually it is difficult for the plaintiff to prove how the manufacture violated its duty of due care to the plaintiff if the manufacturing defect is suspected. It is quite expensive to hire appropriate experts, for example, engineer to indentify what went wrong at the factory and has led to the problem. More over sometimes the best experts are unable to prove it.

The advantage is that the jury might award the plaintiff punitive damages.

Breach of warranty

Under this theory the customers can sue the sellers for the violation of fulfillment the terms of a promise, claim, or representation made concerning the quality or type of the product. Under this law a seller gives certain warranties concerning goods that are sold and that he or she bears responsibility for these assertions. Basically there are two kinds of warranties which are express warranties and implied warranties…

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Journal of Political Economy

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