Product Liability History

When we purchase a product and it falls short of our expectations, it can be very disappointing, especially if a large sum of money were used to purchase the product. But what if the product caused a traumatic injury or death to a member of our family or anyone else it came in contact with? We would be devastated. What if we found out that the manufacturer or any one involved in the making or distribution of this product knew it to be un-safe but continued to make it available to the public? We would want anyone involved in getting this product in the hands of the consumer to be held responsible Products liability is an area of law whereby a consumer of a product may seek compensation for injury or property damage allegedly caused by that product. Responsible parties may include the manufacturer, contractor, assembler, distributer or store owner. There are five theories in which a products liability claim can be made. These are express warranties, implied warranties, negligence, fraud, and strict liability.

An express warranty is a promise from the seller to the buyer that the product meets industry standards and is fit for use. Statements such as,” Satisfaction guaranteed” or “This tie is 100% silk ” are express warranties.

An implied warranty arises from the sale itself without a promise from the seller. The product is of average quality and appropriate for the purpose it was intended. In the theory of negligence, one must prove that the seller did not exercise reasonable care in the manufacture or distribution of the product or give adequate instructions for safe use. Fraud is an intentional misrepresentation of the product by the seller. Strict liability holds the manufacturer responsible regardless of whether they were at fault.

The product was defective when it left the manufacturer. Laws regulating product liability can be found in article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code.

The development of product liability laws can be traced back centuries. Product liability laws originate from English common law and tort law. A tort is a wrong committed against a person or their property. Common law refers to the standards that communities followed to govern themselves. Each court case became part of the common law, and consecutive court cases were decided using the decisions of prior court cases. All states use common law except for Louisiana, which uses France’s Napoleonic code. There are no federal laws governing product liability. The earliest common law view involved the English case of Winterbottom v. Wright in 1842 (Win 42). At this time the common law asserted the “privity limitation”. Privity refers to those in direct contact with each other. Mr.Winterbottom was employed by the Postmaster General to operate the mail coach. The mail coach fell apart and Mr. Winterbottom was injured. Mr. Wright had previously repaired the mail coach for the Postmaster General. Mr. Winterbottom sued Mr.Wright but lost. Mr. Winterbottom had no direct contact (privity) with Mr. Wright, only with the Postmaster General. Mr. Wright was however responsible for the failure of the mail coach. The court ruled against Mr. Winterbottom.

10 years later there came the case of Thomas v. Winchester (Tho 52). Mr. Winchester, a druggist, mistakenly prepared a deadly medication called belladonna and sold it to Mr. Thomas as extract of dandelion. It had been mislabeled. Mr. Thomas was not harmed, but his wife was. The court set aside the privity rule and ruled in favor of Mr. Thomas. The court held that a dangerous substance, (ingesting mislabeled poison), was very different from a defective wheel as in the Winterbottom case.

More than 70 years later came the case of MacPherson v. Buick (Mac 1916). This was the first case decision that rejected the privity rule. MacPherson alleged he was driving a Buick at 8 miles per hour when the wooden wheel broke and he was injured. Buick manufactured the automobile but another manufacturer supplied the tire. The court ruled in favor of Mr. MacPherson. The court ruled that there should be a standard for negligence cases and that whether the injury is from a defective part, as in the Winterbottom case or a deadly poison, in the Thomas case, they should be treated the same.

These are only a few of the thousands of cases that have shaped modern day product liability law. The people, their family members, and others who came in contact with unsafe products paved the way for us to have safer laws.

I Was Injured by a Defective Product, What Now?

American purchasers are protected byproduct liability law. This is the shield you have at your disposal if you were damaged by an insufficient object or by a product that was fatal when used as intended. There are lots of different ways that a manufacturer can be held responsible for the fatalities brought about by their objects. In the most simple sense, the majority of these allegations are brought for the following causes:

  • An object was manufactured in a way that made it inherently dangerous or deadly
  • A device had an assembly defect that made it hurtful or deadly
  • A user was not told of a major risk affiliated with the device.

One of the most famous cases where merchandise proved to be fatal when used as it was supposed to was in the instance of lawn darts. These objects were marketed as toys appropriate for more mature children. The game was a sort of reinvention of horseshoes, but the players threw short, weighted darts with a sharp metal point. These were eventually deemed too harmful by design, and were prohibited for sale in America and Canada. In this case, the object performed as intended but, in doing so, it fatally injured three children.

In other instances, there may be a fabrication defect that brings on a product liability lawsuit. The most recognized situation that most people most likely recall involves the Ford Pinto. The machine ended up being vulnerable to catching fire when hit from behind. This ended in deaths and, ultimately, it was found out that the maker, Ford, was aware of the safety issues and didn’t do anything to remedy the problem. The reason that unsafe product law exists is to make sure that buyers have a way to recover their financial and emotional damages in cases like this.

A product liability claim may include the way that a product was marketed. For example, if all the potential hazards of a medicine are not divulged by the producer, the people who suffer the harshest side effects could possibly be able to sue to recover damages. Product liability law is your recourse if you’ve been damaged due to a product’s faults, poor design or dishonest marketing. This law exists to ensure that corporations take their responsibility to their customers seriously, and it’s the best way to make sure that they’re held financially accountable when they fail to do so and someone gets impaired.

Understand Laws and Concepts

The laws and concepts of a century direct the civilization of that century. Laws and concepts are governing principles and ideologies capable of influencing the operative dynamics of a century, human advancement, societal evolution and revolution.

The laws and concepts of a century underlined determine and define the operative dynamics of that century, human and societal operations with respect to life’s demands in virtually every area. In the absence of hypothetical laws and concepts, humanity is compelled to operate as blind horses without governing principles and ideologies to order her operation.

Laws: I define laws as principles which underline or define the governing operative dynamics of a century, human and societal advancement and operation in relation to demand. Professor Mbuya Divine of the Nation Builders Institute defines laws as major pathways with resultant consequences.Ashu Solange; a student of the Nation Builders Institute defines laws as fundamental principles which govern life.

In a nut-shell, laws determine human and societal operations. There are four types of laws; human, natural, Divine and social laws.

Human laws: These are principles or stipulated standards made by men to order the behavior of individuals and to determine the operative dynamics of a setup, society, nation or the world. In a setup, human laws may take the form of rules and regulations. While in a society or nation, human laws may take the form of constitutions of government, legislation or judicial opinions.

Natural laws: These are forces operating in nature defining the operative dynamics of the universe in relation to the earth’s demands. Natural laws are equally known as universal laws, e.g. the law of gravity.

Divine laws: These are absolute principles which govern existence and determine life’s flow, rendering obligatory the consequences of ’cause and effect’.

Divine laws are constants and they remain unchangeable with time. Any attempt by men to ignore them, must result to terrible consequences. One of the differences between human laws and natural laws, from Divine laws is that, both human and natural laws can be altered with respect to time and progress in human civilization but Divine laws are unchangeable. They are constants and absolutes in every generation.

Social laws: These are principles which underline the governing operative dynamics of a century with respect to human progress and operation, societal evolutions and revolutions. Social laws determine the operative dynamics of a century, human operations, productivity, progress, and effect societal development in all domains. Principles are principal requirements for positive revolution. They are settings for life occurrences.

Concepts: These are bodies of information or ideologies capable of influencing the governing operative dynamics of a century, human progress, societal evolution and revolution.

Concepts form the base of human mentality, ideas and notions which shape the civilization of every generation.
Concepts are ideological in their characteristics. They define human operations in a century, human progress, societal evolution and revolution. There are both negative and positive concepts.

Negative concepts: These are humanistic ideologies and notions based on selfishness and inhumanity. Individuals and societies which propagate negative concepts are those characterized either by undemocratic, autocratic political systems or religious and sectarian extremism. Examples of some negative concepts are terrorism, communism, Nazism, anti-Semitism, ethnic cleansing, etc. Negative concepts have never contributed to advance the cause of human dignity and civilization. They have inspired inhumanity, violence and all forms of human degradation.

Positive concepts: These are quality and positively inspired information or ideologies capable of enhancing human character, value, operation, productivity and effecting societal evolution and revolution. Positive concepts are products of mental illumination and regeneration. Great civilizations owe their breakthroughs to positive concepts which were products of illuminated and regenerated minds.

For instance, the concept of the Pilgrim Fathers based on Divinity, human dignity, freedom and democracy is the foundation of the greatness of America. The combination of positive laws and concepts has resulted to the enhancement of human operations, productivity and progress in civilization in every generation.

Social laws and concepts are governing principles and ideologies which define the operative dynamics of a century, human progress, societal evolution and revolution.

This research work is centered on unveiling the social laws and concepts of the 21st century, in order to direct and coordinate this century, its human operations, societal evolution and revolution. The concept and dynamics of a century: A century is a period of 100 years within a millennium (1.000 years) and there are ten centuries in a millennium. Ten decades make up a century.

According to the millennium concept, every first century in a millennium is the leadership century of that millennium and every first decade of a century is the leadership decade of that century, when the laws and concepts which have to govern the operative dynamics of a century have to be expounded. By Dr Benard Etta.

According to the law of every day’s provision, every century has its operational dynamics in relativity to the unique challenges, responsibilities, opportunities, privileges and possibilities of a century. Laws and concepts determine, underline and define the operative dynamics of a century. The politico-socio-economic and scientific dimensions of a century are indebted to the quality in the laws and concepts of a century.

A century with positive and quality laws and concepts will inevitably result to positive revolutions in the politico-socio-economic and scientific operative dynamics and dimensions of that century, and vice versa. Laws and concepts influence the entire governing system of a century.

Human progress: Humanity is destined to progress with time in relation to her mental, physical, spiritual and social demands. Human progress is the progress in human development and civilization. Human progress is relative to human development and human development is the foundation for human civilization. All the breakthroughs of a generation, be it political, social, economic, scientific, technological etc, are related to human progress.

Human progress is not an accidental occurrence. It is the result of well applied principles and policies rooted in the social laws and concepts of a people. No people can progress beyond the quality of their social laws and concepts. Social laws and concepts are governing principles and ideologies which define the operative dynamics of a century, human progress, societal evolution and revolution.

Human progress is evident in the quality of human operation, productivity and impact in relation to life’s demands. Quality and positive knowledge, ideas, inventions, innovations, creations and discoveries are all products of human progress. Humanity can never fulfill her destiny in stagnation. Human progress is not an option but a necessity with respect to human productivity and fulfillment. In the absence of human progress, life becomes a burden and a whole system of frustrations.

For human progress to be evident in the 21st century, humanity must make discoveries of the social laws and concepts which have to govern her operations, productivity and impact. This is the purpose of this research work.

Societal revolution: Societies were to evolve with time in relation to human demands. No society can
accommodate its increasing human demands from a stagnant position. Social laws and concepts are the governing operative principles and ideologies through which societal evolution is possible. Societal evolution is the progressive development of societies in their structures and systems of operation in relation to human demand. Human demand is the trigger to societal evolution.

With every thing being equal, people grow with time. It is difficult for a society to accommodate her human demand in the present and future at the same level of development. Thus, societal evolution must be relative to human demand per time. When societies fail to evolve with time in relation to human demand, they attract revolts, civil wars or any form of disorder and instability.

Societies characterized by instability and all forms of disorder are societies which have failed to progress with time in relation to human demands. When societal evolution can no longer meet the increasing demands of human development, a society then needs a positive revolution to survive.

Societal revolution: This is a process which redefines, transforms and alters the structures and systems on which a society operates, in relation to the increasing demand of human development. Societal revolution is the only option for societal survival and progress when societal evolution fails to march the increasing human demand.
Revolution ushers in a new order as a positive solution to societal instability.

For societal revolution to take place there must be a discovery of new laws and concepts to inspire change in the dynamics of societal operations in relation to time and human demand. Societal revolution is a constant requirement for societal progress. It embodies new principles, policies and ideologies to shape, reorient and transform the entire governing structures and systems on which a society functions. Thereby enlarging the society to accommodate its new challenges.

In summary, social laws and concepts are the principles and ideologies which define the operative dynamics of a century, human progress, societal evolution and revolution. A change in social laws and concepts is a change in a century’s operative dynamics, human progress, societal evolution and revolution. Thus, humanity and societies are governed by the quality of their principles and ideologies.

To redirect the civilization of the 21st century towards a positive direction, there is need for humanity to expound on quality and positive social laws and concepts as instruments of change. This is the purpose of this visionary work.