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http://ssrn.com/abstract=1327804
 
 

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Should Manufacturers and Sellers of Lethal Products Be Subject to Criminal Prosecution?


Frank J. Vandall


Emory University School of Law


Widener Law Journal, Vol. 17, 2008
Emory Public Law Research Paper No. 9-51

Abstract:     
The topic of the symposium is "crimtorts." The term was created by Professors Thomas Koenig and Michael Rustad in a 1998 law review article. It refers to the area between criminal law and torts: those "corporate crimes" (actually torts) where punitive damages are available to the plaintiff. Crimtorts centers on corporate acts that injure numerous persons, such as the Ford Pinto case.

My paper lies at the heart of the crimtorts debate. The question presented is whether products liability should be criminalized at the federal level. Does it make good sense to fine or imprison employees, manufacturers, dealers, or retailers who sell products that knowingly cause death or serious bodily injury? This specific issue was presented when Senator Specter recently proposed that persons who manufacture lethal products should be imprisoned or fined.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 13

Keywords: Criminal law, Ford Pinto, products liability, federal crime, Senator Specter, lethal product, manufacturer, seller, prosecution, political abuse, punitive damages, corporate crimes, Senate Judiciary Committee, tort, economics, product design, nonenforcement, cause in fact, proximate cause

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Date posted: January 14, 2009 ; Last revised: June 13, 2012

Suggested Citation

Vandall, Frank J., Should Manufacturers and Sellers of Lethal Products Be Subject to Criminal Prosecution?. Widener Law Journal, Vol. 17, 2008; Emory Public Law Research Paper No. 9-51. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1327804

Contact Information

Frank J. Vandall (Contact Author)
Emory University School of Law ( email )
1301 Clifton Road
Atlanta, GA 30322
United States
404-727-6510 (Phone)
404-727-6820 (Fax)
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