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Should Products Liability Be Based on Hindsight?

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  • Ben-Shahar, O.

Abstract

In designing and marketing new products, manufacturers face uncertainty regarding the harmful character of their products. If harm occurs due to a defective design, liability is imposed on manufacturers whenever the design of the product is determined to be unreasonably dangerous. In assessing the reasonableness of a design, courts often - although the doctrine is not settled - admit information which was acquired throughout the actual usage of the product - information that often was not scientifically available at the time of production. The Asbestos litigation is a prominent example of this practice. This paper examines the incentive effects of such hindsight.

Suggested Citation

  • Ben-Shahar, O., 1997. "Should Products Liability Be Based on Hindsight?," Papers 14-97, Tel Aviv.
  • Handle: RePEc:fth:teavfo:14-97
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    Keywords

    TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE;

    JEL classification:

    • K14 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Criminal Law
    • K41 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Litigation Process
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

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