TortsProf Blog

Editor: Christopher J. Robinette
Widener Commonwealth Law School

Friday, February 8, 2008

Calnan on Products Liability

Alan Calnan (Southwestern) has posted A Consumer-Use Approach to Products Liability on SSRN.  Calnan proposes clarifying what has become an overly uncertain area of law:

Under this approach, courts would categorize products liability cases according to the type of use the plaintiff-consumer made of the product at the time he was injured. The categorization would have both substantive and procedural effects. Criminal or intentionally destructive uses would bar recovery altogether. Reckless or idiosyncratic uses would create a presumption of no-liability. Common ancillary uses would require expert evidence of defectiveness. Intended uses would create a presumption of liability, and intended uses of products violating statutes or regulations would result in absolute liability. By adapting liability schemes to consumer behavior, this five-tiered approach promises not just to clarify the law, but to better serve the Restatement Third`s objectives of efficiency and fairness.


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