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lwpat, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 25387
Experience:  Actively practicing trial attorney
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How do strict liability cases differ from other types of tort

Customer Question

How do strict liability cases differ from other types of tort cases? When can a person or company be held strictly liable for an injury? Do you think strict liability is fair?

My teacher says after completing the lesson that he has devised the question from, I should be able to:

define the three different categories of torts and be able to determine when each should apply
distinguish between different types of intentional torts and know what must happen for each type of intentional tort to apply
explain the elements of negligence, including duty of care, breach of duty, causation, and damages
explain the different types of damages a jury awards in tort cases

So if any of that can tie into the answer, that would be great. Also, please try and use examples. Thanks.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  dkennedy replied 5 years ago.

Kennedy :


Kennedy :

I can help you with this, but could you tell me if there are formatting requirements? What length does it have to be? And, when is it due?

Customer :


Expert:  lwpat replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for your question and for using JA. Please click accept so I will receive credit from JA for my time.

Strict liability in tort is the concept that in certain situations a defendant is liable for plaintiff's damages without any requirement that the plaintiff prove that the defendant was negligent. The difference is that a showing of negligence is not required. It is usually applied in product liability and ultra hazardous activities.

In Greenman v. Yuba Power Products, Inc. (1963) 59 Cal.2d 57 [13 A.L.R.3d 1049], confronted with injury to an ultimate consumer caused by a defective power tool, the California Supreme Court assigned strict liability to a manufacturer who placed on the market a defective product even though both privity of contract and notice of breach of warranty were lacking. The court rejected both contract and warranty theories, express or implied, as the basis for liability. Strict liability does not rest on a consensual foundation but, rather, on one created by law. The liability was created judicially because of the economic and social need for the protection of consumers in an increasingly complex and mechanized society, and because of the limitations in the negligence and warranty remedies. The court's avowed purpose was "to insure that the costs of injuries resulting from defective products are borne by the manufacturer that put such products on the market rather than by the injured persons who are powerless to protect themselves." (Id., at p. 63.) Subsequently, the Greenman principle was incorporated in section 402A of the Restatement Second of Torts, and adopted by a majority of American jurisdictions.

This doctrine, first enunciated in Rylands v. Fletcher (1868) L.R. 3 H.L. 330, imposes liability for damage proximately caused by one who carries on an "ultrahazardous" activity. The modern theory of liability for ultrahazardous activity is that certain activities create such a serious risk of danger that it is justifiable to place liability for any resultant loss on the person engaging in the activity, regardless of lack of culpability on his part. (Hulsey v. Elsinore Parachute Center (1985) 168 Cal.App.3d 333) One who engages in ultra hazardous activity may be found liable without a showing of negligence.