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University of Michigan Law School

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Products Liability And The Internet Of (Insecure) Things: Should Manufacturers Be Liable For Damage Caused By Hacked Devices?, Alan Butler Jun 2017

Products Liability And The Internet Of (Insecure) Things: Should Manufacturers Be Liable For Damage Caused By Hacked Devices?, Alan Butler

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

While the application of products liability to insecure software is a frequently-discussed concept in academic literature, many commentators have been skeptical of the viability of such claims for several reasons. First, the economic loss doctrine bars recovery for productivity loss, business disruption, and other common damages caused by software defects. Second, the application of design defects principles to software is difficult given the complexity of the devices and recent tort reform trends that have limited liability. Third, the intervening cause of damage from insecure software is typically a criminal or tortious act by a third party, so principles of causation …


The Truth About Torts: Rethinking Regulatory Preemption And Its Impact On Public Health, William Buzbee, William Funk, Thomas Mcgarity, Nina A. Mendelson, Sidney Shapiro, David Vladeck, Matthew Shudtz Jan 2009

The Truth About Torts: Rethinking Regulatory Preemption And Its Impact On Public Health, William Buzbee, William Funk, Thomas Mcgarity, Nina A. Mendelson, Sidney Shapiro, David Vladeck, Matthew Shudtz

Other Publications

As consumers, we assume that the automobiles, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and other products we purchase are generally safe for their intended uses. We rely on manufacturers to design and produce safe products, and we assume that federal regulators are conscientious watchdogs of the marketplace. In most instances, our assumptions are valid and we safely go about our lives. But the regulatory system is now frayed to the point that dangerous products sometimes slip through the cracks. Vioxx, Firestone/ATX tires, and toxics-laden children’s toys have endangered and harmed millions. In these cases, society depends on the state courts as a venue …


Torts And Innovation, Gideon Parchomovsky, Alex Stein Nov 2008

Torts And Innovation, Gideon Parchomovsky, Alex Stein

Michigan Law Review

This Essay exposes and analyzes a hitherto overlooked cost of tort law: its adverse effect on innovation. Tort liability for negligence, defective products, and medical malpractice is determined by reference to custom. We demonstrate that courts' reliance on custom and conventional technologies as the benchmark of liability chills innovation and distorts its path. Specifically, recourse to custom taxes innovators and subsidizes replicators of conventional technologies. We explore the causes and consequences of this phenomenon and propose two possible ways to modify tort law in order to make it more welcoming to innovation.


Reforming Products Liability, Suzanne M. Lambert May 1992

Reforming Products Liability, Suzanne M. Lambert

Michigan Law Review

A Review of Reforming Products Liability by W. Kip Viscusi