As we move on from Torts to Strict Liability and Product Liability it is important to understand that although these are torts, they have some distinctly separate concepts. Although Product liability may be pursued under the theory of negligence because we have already covered negligence the unit assignment will focus on Strict Product Liability.
California is a state which provides strong advocacy for consumer protections, which makes Strict Product Liability a field many lawyers pursue both for individual clients and in class action law suits.
Like negligence theories, privity of contract is not required for strict product liability. The rules related to Strict Product Liability are complex and must be accurately presented in a manner which would make them applicable to any case of its kind. Elements as well as Defenses must be part of the understanding of rules.
Strict Product Liability is steeped in public policy, and I have provided you the full texts of the Greenman and Coca Cola cases. The analysis for all product liability cases must include all three Product Defects. In analyzing law, we do not pick and choose to only consider that which we think is the best course, but we review all possible approaches and the various tests (elements of each approach). Again, case law is provided in the textbook and extra material is presented in Canvas files and PowerPoints for your use for case authority.
Finally, there are defenses to Strict Product Liability and they too must be analyzed for their application to any product liability case.
Thomas Moore was driving an E-Z-Go golf cart to transport guests at a Christmas party. The golf cart did not have lights, but E-Z-Go did not warn against using it on public roads at night. When Moore attempted to cross a road from the club house to the parking lot at 8:30 pm., his gold cart was struck by a vehicle driven by Joseph Maloney who claimed he could not see the cart due to the dark light conditions. Moore was parallelized because of the accident and has sued E-Z-Go. Use F-IRAC to analyze the Strict Product Liability claim. In this Analysis it may be necessary to provide additional hypotheticals to help explain the application of the rules think of this in terms of how you would “tell the story.”
ISSUE: Write an issue statement which identifies the legal basis for this claim and connects it to a pinitol fact . /20 pts
RULE: Based on your issue statement write the rule statement. This statement must cover the general rule, elements and defenses /50 pts
ANALYSIS: Write your analysis. Remember this is a discussion of both sides of liability based on social responsibility, rules, elements and defenses as applied to facts. Following your fact summary, start your analysis with the social engineering underpinning of Escola and Greenman. Here you will either include a general rule statement or follow with a general rule statement before moving on to elements and defenses. It is important to use case authority to help explain the application of the rules, elements and defenses. /100 pts
CONCLULSION: Write a conclusion which mirrors your issue statement and includes a “why statement linking conclusion to an element, defense and fact. /20 pts
Please make sure you are following these standards for your unit exams and discussions
F-IRAC: Proper form of Facts; ISSUE:, RULE:, ANALYSIS:, and CONCLUSION:
Facts: Provide a sufficient fact summary to give detailed analysis
ISSUE: Does it provide the legal theory, party(s) or actor(s) and connect to a fact which triggered the issue?
RULE: State the General Rule, provide elements and defenses in prose. Should not include case citations, names or facts.
ANALYSIS: Start with or present a brief introduction of the Facts and Issue. If it is a complex series of rules to apply consider using an separate paragraph to introduce the rule and elements to be covered. Compare and weave the facts of this case with the General Rule, Elements, Defenses, Prior case law and authority and present any policy issues deemed important to understanding the legal theory.
CONCLUSION: Use proper terminology of legal conclusion using a because or why statement (often a fact and an element or defense which is determinative of conclusion)