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Chapter 14

PRODUCTS LIABILITY

  “Products liability” refers to the liability of a seller of a chattel which, because of a defect, causes injury (usually personal) to its purchaser, user, or sometimes, a bystander. The term is used here to include both situations where P purchased the item directly from D and those where there was no contractual relationship between P and D.
  • Importance:  Products liability is the fastest-growing, and probably now the most economically significant, branch of tort law.
  • Three theories:  There are three main theories under which a seller of a chattel can be liable to one who is injured: (1) negligence; (2) warranty; and (3) strict liability.
  • Negligence:  The general rules of negligence apply to one who sells a product. Most commonly, negligence theory is used to make a manufacturer liable where he failed to use reasonable care in designing, manufacturing or labeling the product.
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