Distinguishing the Concept of Strict Liability for Ultra-hazardous Activities From Strict Products Liability Under Section 402A of the Restatement (Second) of Torts: Two Parallel Lines of Reasoning That Should Never Meet
The cornerstone of tort law in our Anglo-American system of jurisprudence is based upon three generally accepted principles. The first is that by awarding any individual monetary damages after their injury, we can make them whole, and the second is the concept of the reasonable prudent person. The third, and the focal point of this article, is that liability is imposed, and the corresponding right to recovery is created, not because of the fact that the plaintiff is injured, but because the injury is the result of the defendant’s fault.
Fault, as each first year law student is quick to learn, is either based upon the fact that the defendant was negligent in bringing about injury, or in the alternative, that the defendant intended or was substantially certain that the harm would result as the natural consequence of their behavior. The largest percentage of our tort litigation is involved with these issues. A smaller number however, are concerned with scenarios where culpability is not an issue. The defendant’s liability will result in these cases because our system of jurisprudence has dictated that blame is not an element of recovery. Instead, liability is imposed simply because of the relationship between the parties, or due to the fact that the defendant has undertaken the activity which resulted in injury. This is of course, liability without fault, or as it is more commonly known, strict liability.
Cantu, Charles E.
"Distinguishing the Concept of Strict Liability for Ultra-hazardous Activities From Strict Products Liability Under Section 402A of the Restatement (Second) of Torts: Two Parallel Lines of Reasoning That Should Never Meet,"
Akron Law Review: Vol. 35
, Article 2.
Available at: http://ideaexchange.uakron.edu/akronlawreview/vol35/iss1/2