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International Manufacturers Beware: Foreign Evidence in American Products Liability Law

September 13, 2010 Leave a comment

One benefit of globalization is that businesses and people can more easily sell their goods and services in the world market.  In the context of manufacturing, companies who export products to foreign countries are frequently required to modify their product lines to conform to foreign laws and standards.  In some instances, manufacturers are compelled to produce two alternative products—one intended for domestic sale and the other for international.  These alternative product designs, manufactured to comply with diverse safety requirements, may have direct repercussions to manufacturers in American courts related to products liability lawsuits.

In order to prove a design defect in products liability law, most jurisdictions in the United States rely on a risk-utility test as enunciated in the Restatement (Third) of Torts.  The risk-utility test balances the degree of risk a certain design poses to consumers versus the utility of that design.  Plaintiffs must prove that there are reasonable substitute designs for a product, and the risk imposed on the consumer outweighs any utility of the allegedly defective design.

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Categories: Academic Articles

Reply to Citizens United Articles

Summary:

  • Corporations are collections of individuals with a common goal; not an abstract legal fiction.
  • It is clear that corporations have some Constitutional protections, but not others.
  • The First Amendment is one of those Constitutional protections, including the right to free speech.
  • Any Congressional reform should focus on transparency, rather trying to cap spending.

This article is by Scott Blake, a 2L at Chicago-Kent.

The public, as well as politicians, have been condemning American corporations in the wake of the recession. If you were to ask anyone on the street what they thought of American corporations, they would probably reply that corporations are greedy, self-interested, and have too much money and influence in politics. I think that this current outlook on corporations is what is framing the current debate on Citizens United. The typical divide goes like this: liberal minds view corporations as greedy and self-interested, and think that the government should step in to limit their power and influence. Conversely, conservative minds distrust an overpowering government and want to limit any government restriction of individual rights.

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