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SL - Products

Torts II - SPL

QuestionAnswer
SL - Analytical Framework 1. Are SL activities at issue? or SL animals? 2. Is P's harm w/in inherent risk posed by the SL activity? Or by the SL animal? 3. Is there causation? 4. Does D have any defenses?
SL - Activities - Ryland v. Fletcher SL applies to "non-natural" uses of property that cause P damage. Non-natural - human alteration, other than customary uses
R2d 519 - SL for those who... Carry on abnormally dangerous activity Causing harm to persons/property Even if they "exercised the utmost care to prevent the harm"
SL - Inherent Risk Rule SL should be confined to consequences which lie w/in the extraordinary risk whose existence calls for such responsibility
SL - Causation, SL does NOT apply... Where P's harm results from Act of God, which D had no reason to anticipate
SL - Defenses Assumption of risk, Comparative negligence (some jurisdictions allow reduction if P at fault), privileges and immunities (specific exemptions)
Products Liability (PL) Law Liability for commercial transfer of products that cause harm because they were defective and/or falsely represented
PL - Theories of Liability Breach of warranty, misrepresentation, negligence, SL
PL - Negligence Negligence-based PL claims require proof of duty, breach, causation, damages. Allows recovery for harm from seller's unreasonable product manufacture, design, or warning
PL - Warranty Express Warranty - P may recover if seller misrepresents product quality Implied Warranty - P may recover if seller's product has defect, makes unfit for ordinary intended purpose
SPL (Products SL) - Mfg. SL when... An article he places on the market, knowing it is to be used w/out inspection for defects, has defect, causes injury to human being
RS 402a - SPL Defective condition unreasonably dangerous to consumer or property, subject to liab for phys harm caused to consum/user/ppty if: 1. Seller engaged in business of selling such prod 2. It is expected and does reach consum w/out subst change in condition
SPL - RS 402a - Elements * Commercial Seller and Consumer/User * Defective product that is unreasonably dangerous * Causation * Product is expected and does reach consumer without substantial change
SPL - 402a Elements - Proper Parties Proper P - Consumer/User Proper D - Commercial Seller
SPL - 402a Elements - Consumer/User C/U include persons: Enjoying defective product Preparing it for use/consumption Doing work w/ defective product
SPL - Product Defects Manufacturing Design Warning
Manufacturing Defects. The defective product... Does not conform in some significant aspect to the intended design, nor does it conform to the great majority of products manufactured in accordance w/ that design
Manufacturing Defect The product unit: Differs from others Is more dangerous AND The defect existed at the time product left D's control
Manufacturing Defect Considerations * Post-sale alterations * Time passage (e.g. statutes of repose)
PL - Design Defects A design defect occurs when: Intended design of the product line inadequate, needlessly dangerous
PL - Design Defects - Tests * Risk-Utility * Consumer Expectations
PL - Design Defects - Consumer Expectations Defective in design if dangerous to an extent beyond that contemplated by consumers w/ ordinary knowledge as to its characteristics
PL - DD (Design Defects) - Risk-Utility Test If R>U = DD Where R = Risk of harm from the product as designed, and U = Utility of the product as designed
SPL - Elements 1. Unreasonably Dangerous Defects 2. Causation 3. Damages 4. Affirmative Defenses
Risk-Utility Factors 1. Usefulnes/desirabil to user and public 2. Safety aspects of product 3. Availabil subst 4. Ability make safe w/o impair usefulness/making expens 5. User's ability avoid dang 6. User's anticipat awaren of danger 7. Feasibility of mfg. spread loss/i
DD - Available Safer Alternative Design Jurisdictions split. Most, and R3d require P to prove a safer, practical, alternative design was available to mfg at the time
SPL - Safer Alternatives Jurisdictional split: Mandatory (maj. & R3d) - P MUST prove or claim fails Permissive (O'Brien) - P may prove to show low utility, while D may use to prove high utility
SPL - DD - State of the Art Existing level of technological expertise and scientific knowledge of particular industy at the time product designed
SPL - DD - Design Defect Tests * Consumer Expectation * Risk Utility Analysis * Hybrid Approach
PL - DD - Hybrid Approach Prong 1: Consumer Expectations Test - P must prove product failed to perform as safely as ordinary consumer would expect OR Prong 2: R/U Test - If P proves product's design proximately caused injury D must then prove U>R
Consumer Expectation Test A product is defective in design if it is more dangerous than the ordinary consumer would expect it to be
Risk-Utility Test A product is defective in design if the risk of the product as designed is greater than the utility of the product as designed
Risk/Utility Factors (8) Usefuln & Desireab to user & public, safety asp of prod, availabil of sub, abil to make safe w/out impair usefulns or too expen, user's abil to avoi dang, user's anticip awarn of dang, feasib of mfg sprd loss/insur, OTHER: ConsExp/State of Art
SPL - Warning Defects Defective when commercial seller fails to provide adequate warning
Warning Defect General Rule Manufacturer's obligation is to inform consumers of hazards which seller knew or should have known (KSHK) at time of manufacture and distribution
SL Failure to Warn, P must prove... D's actual or constructive knowledge of product's potential risk or danger
SPL - State of the Art The existing level of technological expertise and scientific knowledge available to the industry at the time the product is designed
Warning Defect Issues * Obvious Hazard Doctrine * Sophisticated User Doctrine * Learned Intermediary Rule * Post-Sale (Continuing) Duty to Warn Doctrine
Obvious Hazard Doctrine Seller owes NO DUTY to warn where the risk is open and obvious
Sophisticated User Doctrine Exempts seller of duty to warn if buyer already knows of risk because of her expertise
Learned Intermediary Rule (Pharmaceuticals) Most courts hold - Warnings/instructions may be directed to physician rather than to patient (consumer) AND Seller owes NO DUTY to warn patient
Post-Sale (Continuing) Duty to Warn Doctrine Imposes duty on mfg to provide warnings to consumers about risks discovered AFTER sale
SPL - Warning Defects, Duty Duty: D duty to warn - 1. risk known, should have been known, 2. unless obv hazard, soph user, learn interm excep apply
SPL - Warning, Adequacy Warn must be adeq as to: Content: comprehens & give fair indic of spec risks Form: design so as to reason catch consum attent
SPL - Product Warnings * ID hazards * Instruct on avoidance * Provide remedy * Gain attention
SPL - Causation Factual cause - "but for" test Proximate cause: 1. Foreseeable consequences test 2. No superseding intervening forces 3. Reaches P w/out substantial change
SPL - Damages P may obtain monetary damages to compensate from damage arising from physical injuries, property harms (other than harm to defective product itself)
SPL - Affirmative Defenses * Implied Assump of Risk (NO express A/R - document/waiver) * Comparative Negligence (NO contributory) * Unforeseeable product misuse (NOT foreseeable misuse) * Federal preemption
SPL - Defenses - P's misuse of product will NOT bar recovery if... The misuse was reasonably foreseeable
Created by: PrGrd