Strict liability and negligence Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 5 June 2017

Strict liability and negligence

Negligence is an important element to determine the strict liability of a defendant. Negligence is considered to be the oldest theory of product liability as well as the strict liability. As a general rule it is for the plaintiff to prove that the defendant was negligent. The initial burden of making out at least prima facie case of negligence as against the defendant lies heavily on the plaintiff, but once this onus is discharged, it will be for the defendant to prove that the incident was the result of inevitable accident or contributory negligence on the part of the plaintiff.

(Jones,2007)(25) There are some elements should be proved by the plaintiff in order to make claim against the defendants under the rule of strict liability.  24. ibid 3 25. Jones, A . Micheal (2007), A text book on Tort, Ch. 2, 9th ed. , publ. by Oxford University Press Strict Liability 14 Duty of care: The plaintiff must prove that a duty of care was owed by the defendant to the plaintiff. Mere carelessness on the part of defendant doesn’t entitle the plaintiff to sue him.

He has to establish that the defendant owed to him a specific legal duty to take care of which he has made a breach. In this connection, in famous case of Donogue Vs Stevenson it was held that a manufacturer of the products which he sells in such a form as to show that he intends them to reach the ultimate consumer in the form in which they left him with no reasonable possibility of intermediate examination and with the knowledge that the absence of reasonable care in the preparation of putting up of the products will result in an injury to consumer’s life or property, owes a duty to the consumer to take that reasonable care.

(26) Breach of duty: Breach of duty means non observance of due care which is required in a particular situation. But here the defendant acted like a reasonable prudent man there is no negligence. In Blyth Vs Birmingham waterworks Co(27). it was clearly explained that negligence is the omission to do something which a reasonable man ,guided upon those considerations which ordinarily regulate the conduct of human affairs, would do or doing something which a prudent and reasonable man would not do.)

Proximate cause: The plaintiff should prove that the breach of duty proximately caused the plaintiff’s injuries. Finally there should be lawful and sufficient injury happened to the plaintiff due to the defective /dangerous product. 26. ibid 6 27. Blyth Vs Birmingham waterworks Co (1856) 11Ex. 281

Strict Liability15 The manufacturers always have the duty to exercise reasonable care in manufacturing the products.

Poor assembling the products, difference in use of component parts and its design specifications, failure to inspect the finished products, component parts and failure in correction in any defective products are some examples to lead the plaintiff to claim under the rule of strict liability. ( Faegre & Benson, 2003) (28) In R Vs Lemon (29)the publisher of a gay news were charged with blasphemous libel against Christ through a poem which was considered as an slur to Christianity.

The court held that it is the pure case of blaspheme as they had intention to publish so they are responsible for their act. Moreover in Alpha cell Vs Woodward,(30) the company was accused of causing polluted water to enter river by using equipment to prevent any overflow in to the river. But due to the collapse of the machine, the polluted things leaked out to the water. There was no evidence that the defendant is negligent but the court held that the defendant had caused the pollution in the water and they held liable.

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