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Essays on The Product Liability Law - Protecting the Rights of the Consumer to Safeguard Them from the Potential Harm of the Defective Products Term Paper

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The paper “ The Product Liability Law - Protecting the Rights of the Consumer to Safeguard Them from the Potential Harm of the Defective Products” is an informative variant of term paper on law. Product liability is the liability of a manufacturer for marketing a defective product to the consumer. In the US, product liability claims are under the jurisdiction of state law. Each state has a set of commercial statutes based on the Uniform Commercial Code. It has the warranty rules governing product liability. They are covered under negligence, strict liability or breach of warranty. Earlier if one wished to claim for the injuries caused by a product, one had to have ‘ privity of contract’ which is a contractual contract between the supplier and the buyer of the product.

Now, this is not required anymore. A claim can be made for product liability even if the injured person is not the buyer of the product. As long as the product has been sold and there is a possibility of injury from that product, a product liability claim can be made.

In other words, we can say that if a product fails to meet the requirement or expectation of a customer or can cause a possible injury, it is covered by the product liability law. The sale of the product is a must for product liability to arise. In fact, the responsibility of the defective products lies with all the sellers who may be in the chain like the manufacturer, wholesaler, and retailer or even the party that assembles and installs the product. Strict liability is applicable when the products are sold in a regular way.

For example, if someone sells something through a garage sale, he would not be liable for the product liability. Laws for Product Liability The laws for product liability have been developed over a long period of time. In English courts, there was a doctrine called – ‘ caveat emptor’ . This meant that- ‘ let the buyer beware’ . This doctrine expected the consumer to protect himself from the obvious and hidden defects of a product and he could not make a claim from the manufacturer. Later the English courts included a rule that made the manufacturer own the responsibility of any hidden defects of their products. The American courts had the ‘ caveat emptor’ rule for a longer time.

It was there is most of the nineteenth century. In the late nineteenth century, the US courts started the implied warranty that provided the consumer with the privity of contract with the defendant. In other words, the consumer can claim any product liability only if he had directly purchased it from the manufacturer. Since most of the manufacturers sold through the retailers, there was no privity of contract and the consumers could not claim it from the manufacturers.

It was only in the 1950s and 1960s that the consumers could claim from the manufacturers whom they were not in their direct contact. In 1965, the Restatement of Torts was officially introduced by the ALI or the American Law Institute. Since then the law of product liability has started to develop. This development was recognized by the ALI in 1998 by approving the Restatement (third) of Torts: Product Liability.

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