Defenses 2 Prod. Liab.

SL Defenses in Prod. Liab.

  1. P's Neg.
    1. Contrib. Neg. in SL Jxn
      1. Most forms of contrib. neg. not a defense in SL cases
    2. A/R
      1. P's neg. could B compl. defense
    3. Comp. Neg.
      1. Mix apples & oranges by lwring P's recov. by comp. neg. but no bar
      2. P's unrsbl behav. contrib. 2 injury / P's neg. is prox. cause of harm, then jury lwrs recov. accordingly
      3. CA Jury Instruction: Maj. jxn
        1. Compute amt w/o comp. fault
        2. Assign % of P's fault
        3. Then lwr which is final amt of verdict
    4. Adv. & Disadv. of Comp. Neg. w/SL
      1. Not det. if P's neg. meets A/R so good
      2. Prob. b/c only assume unrsbl behav. & not deal w/rsbl non-neg. A/R
    5. If Rsbl Assumption: What Law Should B
      1. Hold mfgr SL b/c spread cost
      2. Mfgr. not doing any good deed
      3. If prod. defective & foreseeable harm from rsbl use, shouldn't lose defense
  2. Prod. Misuse
    1. Prod. Not Defective
      1. Then no liab. so bar P's recov.
      2. Defect & defense of misuse rel'ed b/c even w/abnormal uses, benefit may outweigh the burden
    2. Prod. Defective
      1. Not prox. cause of harm
        1. No recov. 4 P
      2. Foreseeable misuse
        1. P can recov. & no defense
      3. Unforeseeable misuse, abnormal unintended use of prod.
        1. No recov. 4 P & defense
  3. Preemption Defense
    1. Fed. Law Supreme
      1. Conflict w/State Law
        1. Specif.
        2. Fed. can lay out when preemption may occur
        3. Fed can occupy the field & state can't intrude
    2. Used more by D as defense in ind. where reg'ed like tobacco & drugs
    3. Preemptions In
      1. State law that conflict w/fed.
      2. Priv. axn where P sues 4 failrue 2 warn / misdesign
  4. Used Prod. Seller
    1. No SL 4 Used Prod. Seller
      1. Would apply SL 4 orig. chain distrib. b/c can indemnify mfgr., pressure mfgr, & can choose mfgr
      2. For used prod. seller, consumer expectation dif., can't distrib. liab. 2 mfgr by indemnity / pressure, & would incr. cost if SL imposed
  5. Lessor & Home Sellers
    1. Gen'ly No SL 4 Lessor
      1. But Becker v. IRM Corp. said SL which is min.
    2. Seller of Homes
      1. Liab. more readily but not same as mfgr & sellers
      2. SL b/c mass prod. homes & in busi. of selling so seems like ord. prod. sit.
      3. SL 4 failrue 2 disclose known cond's
  6. Service Provider
    1. No SL b/c Not in Busi. of Selling
    2. Blood
      1. Not service provider
      2. Policy of constant availability of blood
    3. Hybrid of Serv. & Prod. Seller
      1. If essence serv, not SL
      2. Gen'ly if hybrid, then say serv. prov'ed not prod. selling b/c sense that prod. is only incidental part & neg. can cover these areas

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