Product Liability and the Politics of Corporate Presence: Identity and Accountability in Macpherson V. Buick
63 Pages Posted: 17 Feb 2003 Last revised: 5 Oct 2010
Date Written: October 4, 2010
This article examines how conceptions of corporate identity are constructed in product liability law. The Article goes back to the early twentieth century to consider how the legal processes and institutions cam to endow corporations with attributes that gave it a specific type of identity. The Article focuses, in particular, on the emergence of the law of product liability and Benjamin Cardozo's path-breaking opinion in MacPherson v. Buick to illustrate how the determination of corporate responsibility and liability in tort rules implicitly, located, shaped, and bounded corporate identity and power in society. The Article further considers how the way tort law invokes concepts of agency, will, and responsiblity may work to establish the identity of a corporation as present in a product as it travels through the national market and thereby serve as a basis for imposing liability upon the corporation.
JEL Classification: K13, K22, N82
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation