Download this Paper Open PDF in Browser

'Danger is My Business': The Right to Manufacture Unsafe Products

46 Pages Posted: 12 Mar 2015  

Richard C. Ausness

University of Kentucky - College of Law

Date Written: March 2015

Abstract

While no one would dispute that safety is a desirable objective, it may not always be an absolute priority. Rather, in some cases, other societal interests such as personal autonomy, consumer choice, product cost, and performance may trump legitimate safety goals. This is reflected in some of the doctrines and defenses that have evolved to protect the producers of unsafe products against tort liability. Some of these doctrines, such as those determining liability for the producers of optional safety equipment, inherently dangerous products, products with obvious hazards, and prescription drugs and medical devices, are part of the law of products liability. Other doctrines, such as the regulatory compliance defense and the contract specification defense, are aspects of the broader law of torts. Finally, a few of these doctrines, such as federal preemption and the government contractor defense, are rooted in principles of federal supremacy.

Keywords: torts, products liability, products, manufacturing, unsafe, personal autonomy, consumer choice, product cost, hazard, obvious hazard, drugs, prescription drugs, medical device, regulatory compliance, federal preemption, safety, defective, defenses, cigarettes, alcohol, Restatement, social interest

JEL Classification: K13

Suggested Citation

Ausness, Richard C., 'Danger is My Business': The Right to Manufacture Unsafe Products (March 2015). Arkansas Law Review, Vol. 67, No. 4, 2014. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2576706

Richard C. Ausness (Contact Author)

University of Kentucky - College of Law ( email )

620 S. Limestone Street
Lexington, KY 40506-0048
United States

Paper statistics

Downloads
76
Rank
273,131
Abstract Views
312