Strict Liability • The legal responsibility for damage or injury even if you are not negligent (liability without fault) • Ex: ultrahazardous activities, dangerous animals, defective products
Strict Liability • To prove strict liability you must only prove causation and damages. • You must also convince the court the issue is unreasonably dangerous.
Dangerous Activities • Activities are considered unreasonably dangerous when: • They involve a risk of harm that cannot be eliminated even by reasonable care. • Demolition company using.(Because the company is strictly liable for any damage they cause, they usually include this cost in the price they charge for the work).
Dangerous Activities • Toxic Torts: lawsuit against a manufacturer of a toxic substance for harm caused by the manufacturer or disposal of that substance
Animals • Generally owners are strictly liable for any harm caused by their untamed animals. • For household pets the owner is strictly liable only if he or she knew or should have known that the pet was dangerous or destructive. • Lease laws protect owners from some liability!
Defective Products • Product Liability: the legal responsibility of manufacturers for injuries caused by defective products • The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) deals with consumer product safety. • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A6OQfBwhDSU
Strict Liability forces companies to design safe products, test products thoroughly, and include clear directions and warnings on products. • Strict Liability causes companies to spend more money on research and development, safety features, and insurance. • (increased company spending=high prices for consumers)
Fear of expensive lawsuits can prevent some companies from producing new and useful dangerous products….VACCINES! • Benefits > Costs …then not strict liability!
Defenses to Strict Liability • The best strategy is to try and prove negligence in a particular case. • Try and prove there is no causation and there were no damages. • If the user misuses the product or ignores clear safety warnings, the strict liability may not apply.