Products Liability Law – Lessons from the Military and Industrial Contexts

Nathan A. Schachtman 1
  • 1 Rutgers College (A.B., 1975), Rutgers School of Law (J.D., 1982), , , , , , , , , 325 East 79th Street, Apt. 16-D, New York, USA
Nathan A. Schachtman
  • Corresponding author
  • Rutgers College (A.B., 1975), Rutgers School of Law (J.D., 1982), , 325 East 79th Street, Apt. 16-D, , , New York, , , NY, 10075, , , USA
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Abstract

The policy bases for American products liability law have developed largely through a series of state court cases that involved products sold to ordinary consumers. These cases featured significant disparities between manufacturers and injured consumers in understanding latent risks from product use, and in their ability to avoid the risks and to absorb and to distribute the costs of the risks. The policy bases that appear cogent for consumer products fail to explain or justify the imposition of liability in many industrial settings, which involve military or industrial customers that are well aware of the products’ latent risks and that have moral, common law, statutory, and regulatory duties to ensure that the industrial products are used safely.

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