Category Archives: Products liability

‘When Cars are the Drivers: Tort Law in the Fourth Industrial Revolution’

Kenneth S Abraham and Robert L Rabin, Automated Vehicles and Manufacturer Responsibility for Accidents: A New Legal Regime for a New Era, 105 Virginia Law Review (forthcoming 2019), available at SLS. Now that self-driving vehicles roam the roads and have already caused injury and death, many talented torts scholars are reviewing the role of tort […]

‘It’s the Punitive Damages, Stupid’

“There’s a compelling (yet terrifying) new ‘must-see’ documentary now streaming on Netflix called ‘The Bleeding Edge’. Here’s the Los Angeles Times’ lead paragraph about it: ‘If body-horror auteur David Cronenberg had dramatized any of the nightmarish stories in Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering’s medical documentary The Bleeding Edge, you wouldn’t hesitate to call it a […]

Galasso and Luo, ‘How Does Product Liability Risk Affect Innovation? Evidence from Medical Implants’

Abstract Liability laws designed to compensate for harms caused by defective products may also affect innovation incentives. This paper examines this issue, exploiting a major quasi-exogenous increase in liability risk faced by US suppliers of polymers used to manufacture medical devices implanted in human bodies. Difference-in-differences analyses suggest that the surge in liability risk had […]

Gerhard Wagner, ‘Robot Liability’

Abstract The arrival of robots, autonomous software agents and so-called ‘Internet-of-Things’-devices challenges existing liability systems. In fact, while the operation of legacy products was mostly in the hands of users, autonomous systems such as autonomous cars will be operated by an algorithm that is identical across a whole fleet of vehicles. Thus, products liability will […]

Herbert Zech, ‘Liability for Autonomous Systems: Tackling Specific Risks of Modern IT’

Abstract Recent developments in the area of Artificial Intelligence (AI) have been leading to increasingly autonomous systems, showing the capability of self-learning. In addition, self-learning made significant progress by the realization of multi-layered artificial neural networks with an ever-increasing complexity. These new technologies cause the emergence of new specific risks. Liability law may specifically address […]

Hua and Spier, ‘Product Safety, Contracts, and Liability’

Abstract A firm sells a dangerous product to a population of heterogeneous consumers. Higher consumer types enjoy higher gross benefits from product use but suffer accidents more often. The firm invests resources to reduce the frequency of accidents. When the consumer’s net benefit function (gross benefits minus expected harms) is decreasing in consumer type, the […]

Benjamin Dean, ‘An Exploration of Strict Products Liability and the Internet of Things’

Abstract Internet connectivity, software, and autonomous capabilities are increasingly integrated into all manner of devices and objects, creating the so-called Internet of Things (IoT). Historically, products with these digital components and capabilities have not had sufficient security measures incorporated into their design. In the past, strict products liability has not tended to apply to the […]

Hubbard and Sobocinski, ‘Crashworthiness: The Collision of Sellers’ Responsibility For Product Safety with Comparative Fault’

Abstract Crashworthiness cases often involve the following issue: Should any wrongdoing by the plaintiff in causing the initial collision reduce or bar the plaintiff’s recovery for defective crashworthiness? Jurisdictions disagree on the answer to this issue. This disagreement results in large part from differing positions on two questions. First, should products liability law use duty […]

Amar Kumar Moolayil, ‘The Modern Trolley Problem: Ethical and Economically-Sound Liability Schemes for Autonomous Vehicles’

Abstract The paper synthesizes modern scholarship in the fields of Artificial Intelligence law, Ethics, Corporate Liability, and Economics to develop potential liability schemes that the automotive and insurance industries may impose when autonomous vehicles eventually come to dominate the roadways. By addressing the issues of whom the autonomous vehicle’s AI protects and who bears liability […]

John Campbell, ‘Budding Torts: Forecasting Emerging Tort Liability in the Cannabis Industry’

Abstract The marijuana industry is booming. It is expanding into new states while it grows beyond the medical marijuana market into the recreational world. What was once illicit profit is quickly becoming on-the-books gains. As the industry matures, billions will be made, and companies once viewed suspiciously will become market giants. But this growth will […]