Products Liability

MacPherson v. Buick Motor Co. 

There injury to person is to be foreseen and foresight of the consequence involves the creation of a duty.

If the nature of a thing is such that it is reasonably certain to place life and limb on peril when negligently made, it is then a thing of danger.


Baxter v. Ford Motor Co.

The manufacturer is liable to the consumer, even though the consumer purchased from a third person the commodity causing the damage.

The right of a purchaser to remedy against the manufacturer because of damages suffered by reason of a failure of goods to comply with the manufacturer’s representations as to the existence of qualities which they did not in fact possess, when the absence of such qualities was not readily discoverable, even though there was no privity of contract between the purchaser and the manufacturer.


Implied Warranty

Henningsen v. Bloomfield Motors

In assessing its significance we must keep in mind the general principle that in the absence of fraud, one who does not choose to read a contract before signing it, cannot later relieve himself of its burdens.

The buyer is said to have accepted the exclusion of the maker’s liability for personal injuries, arising from the breach of the warranty, and to have agreed to the elimination of any other express or implied warranty.


Greenman v. Yuba Power Products, Inc.

Restatement of Torts §402A.


(1) One who sells any product in a defective condition unreasonably dangerous to the user or consumer or to his property is subject to liability for physical harm thereby caused to the ultimate user or consumer, or to his property, if

(a) the seller is engaged in the business of selling such a product, and

(b) it is expected to and does reach the user or consumer without substantial change in the condition in which it is sold.

(2) The rule stated in Subsection (1) applies although

(a) the seller has exercised all possible care in the preparation and sale of his product, and

(b) the user or consumer has not bought the product from or entered into any contractual relation with the seller.


Manufacturing Defect

Rix v. General Motors Corp.

Categories of product defects:

manufacturing defect

defective design

a defective product is due to inadequate instructions or warnings.

The P must establish three essential elements under the theory of strict liability:

D sold the product in a defective condition unreasonably dangerous to consumer.

The product did reach the ultimate consumer without substantial change.

The defective product proximately caused injury to the P.


Design Defect 

O’Brien v. Muskin Corp.

Some factors relevant in risk-utility analysis are:

The usefulness and desirability of the product—its utility to the user and to the public as a whole.

The safety aspects of the product- the likelihood that it will cause injury, and the probable seriousness of the injury.

The availability of a substitute product which would meet the same need and not be unsafe. 

The manufacturer’s ability to eliminate the unsafe character of the product without impairing its usefulness or making it too expensive to maintain its utility. 

The user’s ability to avoid danger by the exercise of care in the use of the product. 

The use’s anticipated awareness of the dangers inherent in the product and their avoidability because of the general public knowledge of the obvious conditions of the product, or of the existence of suitable warnings or instructions.

The feasibility, on the part of the manufacturer, of spreading the loss by setting the price of the product or carrying liability insurance. 


Warnings Defect

Anderson v. Owens-Corning Fiberglass

Greenman v. Yuba Power Products, Inc.

“a manufacturer is strictly liable in tort when an article he places on the market, knowing that it is to be used without inspection for defects, proves to have a defect that causes an injury to a human being.”

Under strict liability the manufacturer does not thereby become the insurer of the safety of the product’s user.

Knowledge or knowability is a component of strict liability for failure to warn.

Defenses—Plaintiff’s Conduct

Daly v. General Motors Corp.

The plaintiff injury must have been caused by a “defect” in the product. Thus the manufacturer is not deemed responsible when injury results from an unforeseeable use of its product.


Ford Motor Co v. Matthews

Restatement (second) of Torts §402A which reads in part: “A product is not in a defective condition when it is safe for normal handing and consumption. If the injury results from abnormal handing the seller is not liable”

The manufacturer is not liable for injuries resulting from abnormal or unintended use of his product, if such use was not reasonably foreseeable.


Other suppliers of chattels

Peterson v. Lou Bachrodt Chevrolet Co.

If strict liability is imposed upon the facts alleged here, the usedcar dealer would in effect become an insurer against defects which had come into existence after the chain of distribution was completed, and while the product wasunder the control of one or more consumers. See Restatement (Second) of Torts sec. 402A.

Restatement of Torts §402A. and most courts in their initial decision implementing strict product liability on tort or warranty theories limited its reach to defendant “in the business of selling product.”

Used products. As the principal case reflects, many court may decline to impose strict liability on sellers of used products.


Hector v. Cedars-Sinai Medical Ctr.

Hospitals are not subject to strict liability for a defective product provided to a patient during treatment when the hospital is a provider of services rather than a seller of a product.


Flake v. Greensboro News Co.

Unauthorized use of one’s photograph in connection with an advertisement or other commercial enterprise gives rise to a cause of action which would entitle the plaintiff, without the allegation and proof of special damages, to a judgment for nominal damages, and to injunctive relief, if and when the wrong is persisted in by the offending parties.


Pearson v. Dodd

The tort of invasion of privacy to instances of intrusion, whether by physical trespass or not, into spheres from which an ordinary man in a plaintiff’s position could reasonably expect that the particular defendant should be excluded.

Cox broadcasting Corp. v. Cohn

There is no liability when the defendant merely gives further publicity to information about the plaintiff which is already public. Thus, there is no liability for giving publicity to facts about the plaintiff’s life which are matters of public record.


Cantrell v. Forest City Publishing Co.

New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254

Constitutional protections for speech and press precluded the application of the New York statute to allow recovery for “false reports of matters of public interest in the absence of proof that the defendant published the report with knowledge of its falsity or in reckless disregard of the truth”

Actual malice standardwith knowledge that [a defamatory statement] was false or with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not.

Time, Inc v. Hill, 385 U.S. 374

To give a “newsworthy person” a right of action when his or her name, picture or portrait was the subject of a “fictitious” report or article Material and substantial falsification was the test of recovery.

Common-law standard of malicefrequently expressed in terms of either personal ill will toward the plaintiff or reckless or wanton disregard of the plaintiff’s rightswould focus on the defendant’s attitude toward the plaintiff’s privacy, not towards the truth falsity of the material published. 


Hustler Magazine v. Falwell

Street v. New York, 394 U. S. 576, 592.

“It is firmly settled that the public expression of idea may be prohibited merely because the ideas are themselves offensive to some of their hearers.”

In Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire, 315 U. S. 568 (1942), we held that a state could lawfully punish an individual for the use of insulting “fighting words—those which by their very utterance inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace.”






    Mickey 發表在 痞客邦 留言(0) 人氣()