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Products Liability

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Judicial Adjuncts In Multidistrict Litigation, Elizabeth Chamblee Burch, Margaret S. Williams Jan 2020

Judicial Adjuncts In Multidistrict Litigation, Elizabeth Chamblee Burch, Margaret S. Williams

Scholarly Works

Peeking under the tent of our nation's largest and often most impactful cases reveals that judges often act like ringmasters: They delegate their authority to a wide array of magistrate judges, special masters, and settlement administrators. Some, like the American Bar Association, see this as a plus that promotes efficiency and cost savings. Critics, however, contend that delegating judicial power especially to private citizens, removes adjudication from public scrutiny, injects thorny ethical questions about ex parte communications, and risks cronyism and high costs. By constructing an original dataset of ninety-two multidistrict products liability proceedings centralized over fourteen years, we introduce …


Crashworthiness: The Collision Of Sellers' Responsibility For Product Safety With Comparative Fault, F. Patrick Hubbard, Evan Sobocinski Jul 2018

Crashworthiness: The Collision Of Sellers' Responsibility For Product Safety With Comparative Fault, F. Patrick Hubbard, Evan Sobocinski

Faculty Publications

Crashworthiness cases often involve the following issue: Should any wrongdoing by the plaintiff in causing the initial collision reduce or bar the plaintiff’s recovery for defective crashworthiness? Jurisdictions disagree on the answer to this issue. This disagreement results in large part from differing positions on two questions. First, should products liability law use duty rules to impose liability in a way that ensures efficient accident cost reduction or should it seek fairness through relatively unstructured jury allocations of liability based on fault? Second, in addressing the first issue, should for-profit corporations be viewed as: (1) “tools” to achieve human goals …


Liability For Mobile Health And Wearable Technologies, Lindsay Wiley, Nicolas Terry Jan 2016

Liability For Mobile Health And Wearable Technologies, Lindsay Wiley, Nicolas Terry

Articles in Law Reviews & Other Academic Journals

Most of the legal commentary regarding mobile health has focused on direct regulation leveraging existing laws and regulators such as HIPAA privacy through HHS-OCR or device regulation by the FDA. However, much of the mobile health revolution likely will play out in lightly regulated spaces bereft of most of the privacy, security, and safety rules associated with traditional health care. This article examines the potential for common law liability models to bridge these gaps (even on a temporary basis). Part II of this paper provides an introduction to the terminology used, and presents a brief typology of the apps appearing …


Medical Device Safety Act Of 2009: Hearing Before The Subcomm. On Health Of The H. Comm. On Energy And Commerce, 111th Cong., May 12, 2009 (Statement Of David C. Vladeck, Prof. Of Law, Geo. U. L. Center), David C. Vladeck May 2009

Medical Device Safety Act Of 2009: Hearing Before The Subcomm. On Health Of The H. Comm. On Energy And Commerce, 111th Cong., May 12, 2009 (Statement Of David C. Vladeck, Prof. Of Law, Geo. U. L. Center), David C. Vladeck

Testimony Before Congress

I start with a brief history of the Medical Device Amendments of 1976 and explain why that history demonstrates that Congress quite clearly intended to preserve state liability law, not wipe it away. I will then turn to the Court's ruling in Riegel and address why the Court's wooden, textual approach to the Amendments -- which ignores their purpose -- led the Court to conclude, wrongly, that Congress intended the Amendments to preempt state liability claims for devices approved by FDA under the pre-market approval process. Next, I discuss the impact Riegel has had in the courts, resulting in the …


Design Defect Ghosts, David Owen Apr 2009

Design Defect Ghosts, David Owen

Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


Who Knew? The Admissibility Of Subsequent Remedial Measures When Defendants Are Without Knowledge Of The Injuries, Ryan G. Vacca Oct 2007

Who Knew? The Admissibility Of Subsequent Remedial Measures When Defendants Are Without Knowledge Of The Injuries, Ryan G. Vacca

Akron Law Faculty Publications

Federal Rule of Evidence 407 and equivalent state court rules prohibit the introduction of subsequent remedial measures for the purpose of demonstrating negligence, culpable conduct, or product defect. The rule breaks down, however, in application and purpose, when a defendant undertakes a new safety measure after the plaintiff's injury but before the defendant had knowledge of the loss. Such a situation is not uncommon. Would-be defendants frequently improve their products and product safety, whether in response to injuries incurred by other users, business pressures, or simply advances in the state of the art and scientific knowledge. Toxic exposure cases, where …


Learning The Wrong Lessons From "An American Tragedy", David Bernstein Nov 2005

Learning The Wrong Lessons From "An American Tragedy", David Bernstein

Law & Economics Working Papers Archive: 2003-2009

This paper is a critique of Margaret Berger and Aaron Twerski, “Uncertainty and Informed Choice: Unmasking Daubert,” forthcoming in the Michigan Law Review. Berger and Twerski propose that courts recognize a cause of action that would allow plaintiffs who claim injury from pharmaceutical products, but who do not have sufficient evidence to prove causation, to recover damages for deprivation of informed choice. Berger and Twerski claim inspiration from the litigation over allegations that the morning sickness drug Bendectin caused birth defects.

Considering the criteria Berger and Twerski suggest for their proposed cause of action in the context of Bendectin, it …


Learning The Wrong Lessons From "An American Tragedy": A Critique Of The Berger-Twerski Informed Choice Proposal, David E. Bernstein Aug 2005

Learning The Wrong Lessons From "An American Tragedy": A Critique Of The Berger-Twerski Informed Choice Proposal, David E. Bernstein

George Mason University School of Law Working Papers Series

This paper is a critique of Margaret Berger and Aaron Twerski, “Uncertainty and Informed Choice: Unmasking Daubert”, forthcoming the Michigan Law Review. Berger and Twerski propose that courts recognize a cause of action that would allow plaintiffs who claim injury from pharmaceutical products, but who do not have sufficient evidence to prove causation, to recover damages for deprivation of informed choice. Berger and Twerski claim inspiration from the litigation over allegations that the morning sickness drug Bendectin caused birth defects. Considering the criteria Berger and Twerski suggest for their proposed cause of action in the context of Bendectin, it appears …


The Challenge To The Individual Causation Requirement In Mass Products Torts, Donald G. Gifford Apr 2005

The Challenge To The Individual Causation Requirement In Mass Products Torts, Donald G. Gifford

Faculty Scholarship

This article uses the example of mass products torts to test the traditional principle that requires a specific victim to prove that a particular injurer caused her harm in order to establish tort liability. Proponents of the instrumentalist conception of torts, notably those identified with law and economics such as Calabresi and Posner, view any requirement of individualized causation as “old-fashioned” and inconsistent with their goals of achieving loss minimization and loss distribution or wealth maximization. In contrast, corrective justice theorists, such as Ernest Weinrib, argue that particularized causation is intrinsic to the entire notion of tort liability. The judicial …


Soft Regulators, Tough Judges, Gerrit De Geest, Giuseppe Dari-Mattiacci Mar 2005

Soft Regulators, Tough Judges, Gerrit De Geest, Giuseppe Dari-Mattiacci

George Mason University School of Law Working Papers Series

Judges have a tendency to be more demanding than regulators. In the United States, a majority of the courts has adopted the rule that the unexcused violation of a statutory standard is negligence per se. However, the converse does not hold: compliance with regulation does not relieve the injurer of tort liability. In most European legal systems, the outcome is similar. We use a framework in which, on the one hand, the effects of tort law are undermined by insolvency and evidence problems and, on the other hand, regulation is expensive in terms of monitoring and information gathering. We show …


The Biter Bit: Unknowable Dangers, The Third Restatement, And The Reinstatement Of Liability Without Fault, Ellen Wertheimer Feb 2005

The Biter Bit: Unknowable Dangers, The Third Restatement, And The Reinstatement Of Liability Without Fault, Ellen Wertheimer

Working Paper Series

This article argues that the Third Restatement of Products Liability, far from accomplishing its goal of eliminating strict liability for products, actually caused its revival. Prior to the adoption of the Third Restatement, many jurisdictions had gradually retreated from the strict products liability of Section 402A of the Second Restatement of Torts. The Third Restatement caused the courts to confront their own incremental processes and, in refusing the adopt the Third Restatement, to reinstate Section 402A of the Second Restatement in a much purer form.


Soft Negligence And Cause In Fact: A Comment On Ganuza And Gomez, Giuseppe Dari-Mattiacci Oct 2004

Soft Negligence And Cause In Fact: A Comment On Ganuza And Gomez, Giuseppe Dari-Mattiacci

George Mason University School of Law Working Papers Series

Lowering the standard of negligence below the first-best socially optimal level has been shown by Ganuza and Gomez (2004) to increase the level of care taken by judgment proof injurers. In this paper, I consider a more complex model of negligence in which cause in fact is taken into account, and I show that this conclusion holds when the injurer’s care reduces the magnitude of the accidental harm but not when the injurer’s care reduces the probability of the accident. Thus, such soft negligence strategies aimed at tackling the adverse effects of judgment proofness need to be conditioned to the …


The Foggy Road For Evaluating Punitive Damages: Lifting The Haze From The Bmw/State Farm Guideposts, Steven L. Chanenson, John Y. Gotanda Jan 2004

The Foggy Road For Evaluating Punitive Damages: Lifting The Haze From The Bmw/State Farm Guideposts, Steven L. Chanenson, John Y. Gotanda

Working Paper Series

In light of increasing punitive damages awards, the United States Supreme Court formulated criteria for evaluating whether a punitive damages award is so unreasonably large that it violates substantive due process. Unfortunately, these "guideposts," which were first erected in BMW v. Gore and applied last term in State Farm v. Campbell, are difficult to use and have resulted in inconsistent decisions. Indeed, Justice Scalia stated that they "mark a road to nowhere." The authors argue that the problems with the guideposts can be fixed by refining the third guidepost, which compares the punitive damages award to the criminal (or civil) …


The Expectations Of Consumers, Douglas A. Kysar Nov 2003

The Expectations Of Consumers, Douglas A. Kysar

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

In the few years following promulgation of the Restatement (Third) of Torts: Products Liability, several courts have reaffirmed their allegiance to the consumer expectations test for product design defect liability, while rejecting the Restatement's contrary recommendation to adopt a design defect test that focuses primarily on technical features regarding the risk and utility of alternative product designs. In this Article, Professor Kysar reviews the post-Third Restatement decisions, identifying within them a common failure to articulate a coherent, independent doctrinal role for the consumer expectations test, despite the courts' clearly expressed desire to do so. In Kysar's view, courts adhering to …


Public Nuisance As A Mass Products Liability Tort, Donald G. Gifford Apr 2003

Public Nuisance As A Mass Products Liability Tort, Donald G. Gifford

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Intent And Recklessness In Tort: The Practical Craft Of Restating Law, James A. Henderson Jr., Aaron Twerski Apr 2001

Intent And Recklessness In Tort: The Practical Craft Of Restating Law, James A. Henderson Jr., Aaron Twerski

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


Products Liability And Legal Leverage: The Perverse Effect Of Stiff Penalties, Michael S. Knoll Oct 1997

Products Liability And Legal Leverage: The Perverse Effect Of Stiff Penalties, Michael S. Knoll

All Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


The Case For A "Strong" Regulatory Compliance Defense, Richard C. Ausness Jan 1996

The Case For A "Strong" Regulatory Compliance Defense, Richard C. Ausness

Law Faculty Scholarly Articles

Federal administrative agencies have established safety standards or licensing procedures for airplanes, motor vehicles, pesticides, drugs, medical devices, and a variety of other products. At the same time, product sellers are subject to tort liability even though their products comply with applicable federal safety standards. Product sellers maintain that compliance with federal safety standards ought to protect them from liability under state tort law and have relied upon several legal principles to support this claim. The first, and most successful, theory is federal preemption. Under this concept, Congress may expressly or impliedly assert the primacy of federal law under the …


A Doctrine By Any Other Name: The Putative Rejection Of "Crashworthiness" In Virginia Products Liability Law, Paul A. Lebel Oct 1995

A Doctrine By Any Other Name: The Putative Rejection Of "Crashworthiness" In Virginia Products Liability Law, Paul A. Lebel

Popular Media

No abstract provided.


The Clinton Administration And Civil Justice Reform, Carl W. Tobias Jan 1993

The Clinton Administration And Civil Justice Reform, Carl W. Tobias

Law Faculty Publications

Governor Bill Clinton was inaugurated as the President of the United States last month. The federal courts are one area of critical significance to the nation in which the Chief Executive can play a major role in important substantive and procedural policymaking. Moreover, President Clinton, as a former law professor and Arkansas Attorney General, may be particularly interested in issues involving the federal courts.

The Clinton Administration will have to address numerous issues that implicate the federal courts throughout its tenure, but especially during the first year in office. Some of these questions, such as the abolition of diversity jurisdiction, …


Strict Products Liability Under Restatement (Second) Of Torts § 402a: "Don't Throw Out The Baby With The Bathwater", M. Stuart Madden Jan 1993

Strict Products Liability Under Restatement (Second) Of Torts § 402a: "Don't Throw Out The Baby With The Bathwater", M. Stuart Madden

Elisabeth Haub School of Law Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


Women, Medical Care, And Mass Tort Litigation, Joan E. Steinman Mar 1992

Women, Medical Care, And Mass Tort Litigation, Joan E. Steinman

All Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Products Liability And Preemption: A Judicial Framework, Barbara L. Atwell Jan 1991

Products Liability And Preemption: A Judicial Framework, Barbara L. Atwell

Elisabeth Haub School of Law Faculty Publications

Part I of this article examines the preemption doctrine while Part II explores the development of the law of products liability. Part III analyzes products liability cases in which the preemption defense has been raised—focusing on cases involving cigarettes and automobiles—and examines the approaches taken by the courts. Finally, Part IV articulates a framework for courts to use when the preemption defense is asserted in products liability cases.


The Duty To Warn In Products Liability: Contours And Criticism, M. Stuart Madden Jan 1987

The Duty To Warn In Products Liability: Contours And Criticism, M. Stuart Madden

Elisabeth Haub School of Law Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


Western Ideology, Japanese Product Safety Regulation And International Trade, David S. Cohen Jan 1985

Western Ideology, Japanese Product Safety Regulation And International Trade, David S. Cohen

Elisabeth Haub School of Law Faculty Publications

For the purposes of this paper, the barriers to an open Japanese market will be divided into two categories: Direct Official Barriers, and Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs). The first category consists of positive restraints on imports such as tariffs and quotas. In response to Western criticism the Japanese government has, since the early 1960s, undertaken measures to dismantle gradually the aggressive protectionist wall which may have been necessary to revive the Japanese economy after the Second World War. In fact, in terms of quotas and tariffs, many observers presently consider Japan to be less protectionist than many North American and European …


Review Of International Product Liability, David S. Cohen Jan 1981

Review Of International Product Liability, David S. Cohen

Elisabeth Haub School of Law Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


Framework For Analysis Of Products Liability In Montana,, Carl W. Tobias, William A. Rossbach Jan 1977

Framework For Analysis Of Products Liability In Montana,, Carl W. Tobias, William A. Rossbach

Law Faculty Publications

This article seeks to serve the needs of the Montana bench and bar by addressing the issues likely to be raised in products liability litigation. It will describe the history of products liability nationally and in Montana and will analyze major issues by examining current directions in case law. Finally, it will offer a framework for legal analysis of products liability to assist courts and counsel in avoiding some of the pitfalls encountered in development of products liability in other jurisdictions.


Georgia's New Statutory Liability For Manufacturers: An Inadequate Legislative Response, E. Hunter Taylor Jr. Jul 1968

Georgia's New Statutory Liability For Manufacturers: An Inadequate Legislative Response, E. Hunter Taylor Jr.

Scholarly Works

During its 1968 session the Georgia Legislature passed a bill intending to create a right of action in tort, independent of negligence, in favor of consumers, users or other foreseeably affected parties against manufacturers of defective products. While Georgia has been in need of judicial or legislative action in this realm, it is the author's thesis that the recently enacted statute is unsatisfactory and should be redrafted. The purpose of this article is as follows: (1) to describe and trace historically the problems which have been encountered in providing legal protection to the individual for injury caused by defective goods; …