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Product Liability Entering the Twenty-First Century

Product Liability Entering the Twenty-First Century: The U.S. Perspective

Michael J. Moore
W. Kip Viscusi
Copyright Date: 2001
Pages: 64
  • Book Info
    Product Liability Entering the Twenty-First Century
    Book Description:

    Are liability "crises" an inevitable part of the modern industrial landscape? Does the inherent nature of the insurance industry promote recurring liability crises? What have been the effects of the liability reforms of the 1990s? Should lawyers be given de facto regulatory authority? This report provides perspective on these and other key issues concerning the law and economics of products liability. The authors begins with a brief description of the evolution of products liability doctrine in the U.S., up to the point of the liability crisis of the late 1980s. They discuss the economic implications of product risk for both consumers and producers, offer economic hypothesis on the implications of the increased scope of liability and subsequent reforms, and provide an update of trends in litigation and liability law. The book ends with a discussion of pending legislation and prospects for further improvements. Moore and Viscusi make the point that effective liability policy calls for a balancing of the incentives for improved public safety on one hand, and the benefits of new and existing products on the other.

    eISBN: 978-0-8157-9879-8
    Subjects: Law, Business

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Foreword
    (pp. vii-viii)
    Robert W. Hahn and Robert E. Litan

    This volume is one in a series commissioned by the AEI-Brookings Joint Center for Regulatory Studies to contribute to the continuing debate over regulatory reform. The series will address several fundamental issues in regulation, including the design of effective reforms, the impact of proposed reforms on the public, and the political and institutional forces that affect reform.

    Many forms of regulation have grown dramatically in recent decades—especially in the areas of environment, health, and safety. Moreover, expenditures in those areas are likely to continue to grow faster than the rate of government spending. Yet, the economic impact of regulation...

  4. Product Liability Entering the Twenty-First Century
    (pp. 1-39)

    Four distinct periods dominate the recent history of product liability law in the United States. First, the two postwar decades (1950–70) were relatively uneventful, as policymakers focused on health and education and attempts to eradicate broad social problems such as racial discrimination and poverty. Three notable exceptions during this period presaged the regulatory movement of the following decade. These were the amendments to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, which increased the stringency of the approval process for new drugs; the first product warnings related to the health hazards of smoking, issued by the U.S. Surgeon General’s office...

  5. Notes
    (pp. 40-41)
  6. References
    (pp. 41-44)
  7. Back Matter
    (pp. 45-45)