A Primer on Product Liability


Jacobs, Richard M.   (1992, ASQC)   Consultant Services Institute, Inc., Livingston, NJ 07039

Annual Quality Congress, Nashville TN    Vol. 46    No. 0
QICID: 9854    May 1992    pp. 383-389
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Article Abstract

This abstract is an edited version of the author's original.

This paper presents basic principles of product liability and uses specific examples of completed litigations to define legal terms associated with product liability.

Manufacturing companies and design organizations expect technical personnel to work within the rules of the regulatory agencies, the courts, and standards organizations. At the same time, they must strive to keep the cost down. As a result, a cadre of quality assurance specialists have become privy to the terminology and methods/procedures employed in the court system. They have also become acquainted with some of the methods used to comply with the basic requirements of delivering a product that appears to satisfy the standards and regulations but which actually circumvents certain details. This phenomena is not widespread, but it is significant in that the personnel involved may not necessarily understand the ramifications of these actions.

Quality specialists are frequently forced to assure management and others that the product does, in fact, comply with the needs of the regulatory bodies and the court system. As a result, the marketplace is not being satisfied by a high quality product but by a low price and, if quality can be built in without increasing the price, everyone seems to be happy. Quality specialists need to know more about what is transpiring within the industry, the standards community, the regulatory organizations, and the court system.


Electronics industry,Legal actions,Management,Product liability

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