Products Liability Law (Aspen Casebook) (Hardcover)
Products Liability Law, Second Edition, by prolific tort scholar Mark Geistfeld, represents the "next generation" of casebooks on products liability. Earlier texts focused on the relative merits of strict liability and negligence, embodied in the apparently competing liability frameworks of the consumer expectations test in the Restatement (Second) of Torts and the risk-utility test in the Restatement (Third) of Torts. The majority of courts, however, have incorporated the risk-utility test into the framework of consumer expectations. By providing balanced coverage of both consumer expectations and the risk-utility test, the casebook keeps pace with ongoing developments in the case law and moves beyond the battles that largely defined products liability in the twentieth century.
In addition to teaching students how liability rules protect consumer expectations via comprehensive application of the risk-utility test, this innovative casebook underscores the importance of doctrinal history, the psychology of evaluating product risks, and the role of products liability in the modern regulatory state. Students will learn how courts have applied established doctrines to novel problems ranging from the relevance of scientific evidence in toxic-tort cases to the distribution of defective products on the Amazon online marketplace. To further illustrate this dynamic, the casebook has twenty-nine problems with associated analysis involving the liability issues likely to be raised by the emerging technology of autonomous vehicles. Finally, the casebook reinforces students' knowledge of fundamental tort principles while developing specialized expertise and a deeper understanding of the torts process.
New to the Second Edition:
- A dozen new main cases updating older case law, providing coverage of new issues not addressed in the First Edition, and/or improving upon the analysis provided by the associated case in the First Edition
- Retention of the majority of main cases from the first edition, with revisions to the ensuing notes incorporating relevant case law developments
- A reorganized and updated chapter covering the controversy over the relative merits of the consumer expectations and risk-utility tests
- Comprehensive discussion of the tort version of the implied warranty--the genesis of the consumer expectations test--and its relation to product malfunctions and the risk-utility test
- A new chapter addressing the existence of the tort duty and identifying the difference between patent dangers and patent defects
- Reorganization of the chapter on factual causation, emphasizing the continuity of evidentiary problems running across different types of cases, ranging from the heeding presumption in warning cases, to market-share liability, to proof of both general and specific causation in toxic-tort cases
Professors and students will benefit from:
- Classroom-tested materials taught for over 20 years by an award-winning professor
- Interesting cases that illustrate both the traditional and contemporary character of products liability litigation; cases are followed by extensive notes
- Each chapter addressing doctrinal issues concludes with problems on autonomous vehicles. The full set of 29 problems provides students with the necessary background for understanding liability issues posed by this emerging technology. Each problem is followed by the author's analysis of the associated issues, cross-referenced to the relevant casebook material.