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Product Liability: How It Turned Strict

There is a commonly held misconception in the food industry-one that we run into quite a lot when attending trade shows and other industry-sponsored conferences to give presentations on the law of product liability. That misconception is that liability for a product-related injury requires proof of negligence. That is, if I, as a person injured by a product, am going to hold you, its manufacturer, liable, I must be able to present evidence the product was defective because you failed to use reasonable care in making it. And if I cannot come up with such evidence, or if you can prove you acted as carefully as possible, you cannot be sued for damages, at least not successfully. This is, however, wishful thinking, legally-speaking.

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The manufacturer is liable to the injured person without regard to whether there is evidence of negligence or fault.