This article urges courts to adopt the majority rule that strict liability should not apply to the mere commercial sale of a used good. Despite that majority rule, a significant minority of courts still imposes strict liability on new- and used-product sellers alike. This split persists because courts adopting the minority rule have overlooked the significant economic and social benefits of the used product market. This article examines the specific benefits of a used product market according to the policies leading to the creation of strict products liability. The used-product market fosters efficiency, which lets low-income consumers buy affordable quality goods. In addition, the used-product market encourages sellers to weed out unsafe goods, which helps deter the manufacture and spread of risky goods. Although strict liability might let injured consumers recover more easily, injured consumers already have other common law and statutory means to recover. Moreover, several state statutes have already enacted statutory limits on strict liability that resemble the majority rule. Because the benefits of a free used-product market best achieve the policies of strict liability, this article concludes that courts should adopt the majority rule.
Northern Illinois University Law Review
Senagore, Antonio J.
"The Benefits of Limiting Strict Liability for Used-Product Sellers,"
Northern Illinois University Law Review: Vol. 30:
2, Article 6.
Antonio J. Senagore, The Benefits of Limiting Strict Liability for Used-Product Sellers, 30 N. Ill. U. L. Rev. 349 (2010).