Product Liability and Implied Warranty

This paper discusses cases of product liability law, meaning manufacturers are responsible in civil liability court for damages arising from use of their products whenever a consumer suffers harm by virtue of a defect in the product.

This paper explains that the Uniform Commercial Code sets forth liability under the implied warranty of merchantability in states that have adopted only the Uniform Commercial Code instead of imposing strict liability negligence statutes for defective products. The author points out that, in states with strict liability statutes for defective products, tort liability is predicated on three specific types of defects: manufacturing defects; design defects; and failure to warn. The paper relates that, conversely, in states relying on the U.C.C., liability is predicated on contract law for breach of warranty.
“Under contract theory, this express warranty would seem to trigger
liability for breach of warranty, in addition to strict liability under tort theory for failure to warn, one of the traditional avenues to establishing strict liability under California’s definition of a defective product. Ordinarily, liability is a function of the absence of an adequate warning of potential danger. Mongo failed to provide any such warning and actually provided an express warranty as to the absence of any dangers inherent in cherry pies. Recent California case law would have required warnings even where the danger encountered by the consumer is natural to the product in question, such as a cherry pit in a cherry pie.”