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June 07, 2024

Product Liability Laws and Regulations USA 2024

International Comparative Legal Guides

Partner Christine Kain, counsel Jim Frederick and associate Kristina Coleman co-authored a chapter for the International Comparative Legal Guides on the product liability laws and regulations for the USA. The co-authors cover liability systems, causation, defenses and estoppel, procedure, time limits, remedies, and costs/funding.

In the United States, the primary routes of liability are strict liability, negligence, and warranty theories. Plaintiffs must prove all elements of their product liability case, including fault/defect and damages. Under strict liability, a plaintiff must prove that: (1) the defendant manufactured or sold the product; (2) the product was defective when it left the defendant’s possession; and (3) the defect in the product caused the plaintiff’s injuries.

Available defenses include assumption of risk, comparative fault, estoppel, idiosyncratic reaction, learned intermediary, pre-emption, state of the art, statute of repose, statute of limitations, unavoidably unsafe products, and misuse.

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