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TortsII-ProductsLiability-Daly_v_GeneralMotorsCorp

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Daly v. General Motors Corp, Supreme Court of CA, 1978 Does assumption of risk bar recovery in strict products liability cases? Issue Reasoning
Discussed Objections to merging comparative negligence and strict liability: 1) Strict liability not founded on negligence or fault and is inhospitable to comparative negligence – it’s like comparing apples and oranges. a. SL was created to protect the consumer and relieve him from the problems of BoP b. With Comparative principles, ∏ will continue to be relieved of proving that the mfg or distributor was negligent c. ∏’s recovery will be reduced only to the extent of his unreasonable care d. We do not allow ∏’s own conduct relative to the product to escape unexamined. e. Loss should be assessed equitably in proportion to fault. 2) Mfg’s incentive to produce safe products is reduced a. Mfg’s liability and therefore incentive remain b. But, exposure will be reduced by extent that the trier of fact finds the ∏’s conduct contributes to injury. c. ∏ will not always be blameworthy 3) Jurors can not assess, measure, or compare ∏’s negligence a. Yes they can. Merging the two is better for the ∏. Before, assumption of risk was a complete bar – this way, he can still get something.

Rule
Under strict liability the mfg does not become the insurer of a product against unforeseeable uses of its product. Old Rule: Assumption of Risk is complete defense in strict products liability. New Rule: A system of comparative fault is extended to strict products liability. Assumption of risk to the extent that it is a form of contributory negligence is abolished. This is more fair and just.

Facts
Intoxicated driver died when he was thrown out of his car during an accident. He did not have the seatbelt on not had the door locked

Held Procedure P argues D argues

Reversed. Trial court found for ∆. ∏ appeals Defective door latch Assumption of risk.

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