II. The Extent of Uncertainty in Present Product Liability Law ... A. Multiple Causes of Action ... B. Differing Interpretations of the Meaning of "Defect" ... C. Judicial Creation and Extension of Theories of Recovery ... 1. Sindell v. Abbott Laboratories and Its Progeny … 2. Extension of the Duty to Warn to Manufacturers and Suppliers of Bulk Products … D. Varying Defenses Allowed in Strict Liability ... E. Admissibility of "Subsequent Repairs" Evidence ... F. Overlaying Common Law Development with State Statutory Reform
III. Effects of Uncertainty in the Tort Litigation System upon Insurers, Manufacturers, and Consumers ... A. Uncertainty and Its Effect on Product Liability Insurers and Insurance Buyers ... 1. The Nature of Product Liability Insurance Ratemaking and Underwriting ... 2. Unavailability of Product Liability Insurance ... 3. Partial Unavailability of Product Liability Insurance ... 4. The Affordability of Product Liability Insurance ... B. Uncertainty and Its Effect on Manufacturers ... 1. The Psychological Costs of Uncertainty ... 2. The Impact of Uncertainty on Doing Business: Limitations on Product Development and Marketing and Increased Transaction Costs ... 3. The Effect of Uncertainty on Business Failures ... 4. The Effect of Uncertainty on Loss Prevention Programs ... C. Uncertainty in the Tort Litigation System and Its Effect on Consumers ... 1. The Effect of Uncertainty on the Price of Products ... 2. Uncertainty in the Tort Litigation System and Inequities in Loss Risk Distribution ... 3. Other Costs of Uncertainty to Consumers
IV. The Need for Federal Reform ... A. The Inherent Inability of State Law to Achieve Uniformity ... 1. Why a Model Uniform Law Cannot Achieve Uniformity in the Tort System ... a. Uniform Laws Are Not Uniformly Adopted ... b. The Best Uniform Laws Cannot Achieve Uniformity ... c. Different Interpretations of Uniform Provisions ... 2. Other Problems with State Adoption of Uniform Law ... B. Objections to Federal Products Liability Reform ... 1. Theoretical Objections to Federal Reform ... a. Interference with States' Rights and Preemption of the "Laboratory of Ideas" Concept ... b. Prohibition of Common Law Development of Changes in Legal Rights and Remedies in Response to New Conditions ... 2. Practical Objections to Federal Reform
O. Lee Reed and John L. Watkins,
Product Liability Tort Reform: The Case for Federal Action,
63 Neb. L. Rev.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/nlr/vol63/iss3/2