Products Liability: A Technical and Ethical Challenge

Article

Jacobs, Richard M.   (1986, ASQC)   Consultant Services Institute, Inc., Livingston, NJ

40th Annual Quality Congress, May 1986, Anaheim, CA    Vol. 40    No. 0
QICID: 3235    May 1986    pp. 548-553
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Article Abstract

Products Liability is a term that has been around a long time, but has had very little impact on the technical community except under unusual conditions. However, since 1963 when the theory of strict liability was first established and it started to be adopted by the majority of the states there has been a decided change.One of the reasons for the technical community to be uneasy about the effect of Products Liability on their livelihood and on the contributions to the world at large, is the fact that many of us do not fully realize the impact Products Liability rules in the various courts can have on the technical community.The purpose of this paper is to present to the technical community an engineering or technical interpretation of a few examples of the technical problems that are associated with Products Liability in order to present the technical challenge of doing the task.The rules of Products Liability are changing rapidly. They affect the ethics of decision making by the Quality specialist long before an accident. This paper will emphasize recent legislation in the various states and in Congress with examples taken from recent court decisions to illustrate the challenge to the ethics of the technical specialist.

Keywords

Product safety,Liability prevention


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