1988-11-01

Product Liability and Federal Legislative Reform: Opponents and Proponents 881575

Product liability has been a federal congressional issue for over a decade. One major goal of federal legislation is to achieve national uniformity of product liability laws, which are currently determined by the individual states. Legislation is being considered in the light of increased litigation, higher costs, reduced insurance availability, and the adverse effect of liability on businesses. However, due to no decisive majority viewpoint, progress on national legislation has been slow. Manufacturers, insurers, and the executive branch support federal legislation-believing it will provide greater predictability and equity for the system. Consumer groups, plaintiffs' attorneys, and justices oppose federal legislation-believing it will take away rights of consumers, confuse a well established legal system, and undermine judicial authority. No significant progress is expected to be made at the federal level until congress sees an increased need for reform.

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