Legal and Moral Limits of Product Liability

Product liability lawsuits have two broad purposes. First, they provide a level of compensation for injured parties, and second, they act to deter large corporations from negligently marketing dangerous products.

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80 A California jury awarded Richard Boeken, a smoker who had lung cancer, a record $3 billion in a suit fi led against Philip Morris in 2001. In 2007, a Los Angeles judge ruled for Boeken’s 15- year- old son on an issue related to his lawsuit against Philip Morris, which he argued was liable for the death of his father. The $3 billion suit awarded earlier had been reduced to $55 million. Boeken (age 57) died in January 2002, seven months after the verdict. The disease had spread to his spine and brain.81 the legal and moral limits of product liability suits evolve historically and are, to a large degree, determined by political as well as legal stakeholder negotiations and settlements.Read more about Tamilmv


Consumer advocates and stakeholders (for example, the Consumer Federation of America, the National Conference of State Legislators, the Conference of State Supreme Court Justices, and activist groups) lobby for strong liability doctrines and laws to protect consumers against powerful firms that seek profits over consumer safety.

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In contrast, advocates of product liability law reform (for example, corporate stockholders, Washington lobbyists for businesses and manufacturers, and the President’s Council on Competitiveness) argue that liability laws in the United States have become too costly, routine, and arbitrary. They claim liability laws can inhibit companies’ competitiveness and willingness to innovate.

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