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15 January, 2016 - 09:33


  1. Recognize how the tort theory of negligence may be of use in products-liability suits.
  2. Understand why negligence is often not a satisfactory cause of action in such suits: proof of it may be difficult, and there are powerful defenses to claims of negligence.

Negligence is the second theory raised in the typical products-liability case. It is a tort theory (as compared to breach of warranty, which is of course a contract theory), and it does have this advantage over warranty theory: privity is never relevant. A pedestrian is struck in an intersection by a car whose brakes were defectively manufactured. Under no circumstances would breach of warranty be a useful cause of action for the pedestrian—there is no privity at all. Negligence is considered in detail in the Introduction to Tort Law on torts; it basically means lack of due care.