‘Sweeping Connecticut Supreme Court Decision Refines Existing Tort Law’

“In arguably the most important Connecticut tort-law decision in decades, the Connecticut Supreme Court in Bifolck v Philip Morris, Inc, — A.3d —, 2016 WL 7509118 (Conn Dec 29, 2016), declined to adopt the approach of the Restatement (Third) to product liability design-defect claims and ‘reaffirm[ed] its allegiance’ to a ‘true strict liability’ standard under §402A of the Restatement (Second). The Court also made a number of ‘modest refinements’ to the Court’s existing interpretation of §402A. Most importantly, the Court held that every product liability design-defect claim must allege that the product was ‘unreasonably dangerous’, but declined to box plaintiffs into one definition of that term for purposes of stating a claim. The Court also refused to limit punitive damages under the Connecticut Product Liability Act (‘CPLA’) to the ‘litigation expenses less costs’ limit …” (more)

[Jennifer Brooks Crozier and Adam Masin, Shipman & Goodwin LLP, 11 January]

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