Strict Liability For Manufacturers - Accident Lawyer Hawaii

Product Liability Lawyer - Accident Attorney Hawaii

Honolulu Products Liability Lawyer Bill Lawson

Law Office of William H. Lawson

What We Do at Accident Lawyer Hawaii - video Honolulu Personal Injury Attorney - Claims We Handle Personal Injury Attorney Hawaii results Honolulu Personal Injury Attorney - Call us now

Awards and Honors


AV Preeminent rated by Martindale Hubbell
Martindale Hubbell - AV rated lawyer - Best Rating Possible


Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum
Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum


AVVO Top Rated Personal Injury Attorney
AVVO Top Rated Personal Injury Attorney, 10 of 10


ATLA Top 100 Trial Lawyers
ATLA Top 100


5.0 of 5.0 top rated by Lawyers.com
Lawyers.com - Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 - Top Rating Possible


National Trial Lawyers - Top Lawyer
National Trial Lawyers - Top 100 Trial Lawyers


Million Dollar Advocates Forum
Million Dollar Advocates Forum


American Society of Legal Advocates - Top 100 - 2014
American Society of Legal Advocates - Top 100 - 2014


Marquis' Who's Who
Marquis' Who's Who in the World, Who's Who in America and Who's Who in American Law


AVVO Clients' Choice Personal Injury Lawyer
AVVO Clients' Choice Personal Injury Lawyer


American Society of Legal Advocates - Top 100 - 2013
American Society of Legal Advocates - Top 100 - 2013



Defective Products - Table of Contents

Strict Liability For Manufacturers

Products Liability Cases In Hawaii



A manufacturer is clearly subject to the law of strict products liability. There are three alternative tests to ascertain whether a product is defective: (1) the consumer expectation test (established by Ontai v. Straub Clinic and Hospital, Inc., 66 Haw. 237 at 240-241, 659 P.2d 734 at 739 (1983)); see, Akee v. Dow Chemical Co., 272 F.Supp. 2d 1112 at 1131 (D.Haw. 2003), (2) the risk-utility test (established by Ontai v. Straub Clinic and Hospital, Inc., 66 Haw. 237 at 242, 659 P.2d 734 at 740 (1983)); see, Akee, supra, 272 F.Supp. 2d at 1131-1132, and (3) the latent danger test (see Tabieros v. Clark Equip. Co., 85 Hawai'i 336, 370, 944 P.2d 1279, 1313 (1997); Acoba v. General Tire, Inc., 92 Haw. 1, 17, 986 P.2d 288 (1999)).


(1) Under the consumer expectation test, the plaintiff must show that a product failed to perform as safely as an ordinary consumer would expect it to when used in its intended or a reasonably foreseeable manner. Ontai, supra; Akee, supra.


(2) Under the risk-utility test, once the plaintiff proves a product's design caused the injury complained of, the defendant must prove that the benefits of a product’s design outweigh the risk of danger inherent in that design.

"Under the risk-utility test, a product is defective in design if the product's design proximately caused the plaintiff's injury and the manufacturer fails to establish, in light of the relevant factors, that, on balance, the benefits of the challenged design outweigh the risks inherent in the design. See, Ontai, 659 P.2d at 741. The factors to be balanced include: (1) the usefulness and desirability of the product; (2) the safety aspects of the product; (3) the availability of a substitute product which would meet the same need and not be as unsafe; (4) the manufacturer's ability to eliminate the unsafe character of the product without impairing its usefulness or making it too expensive to maintain its utility; (5) the user's ability to avoid danger by the exercise of care in the use of the product; (6) the user's anticipated awareness of the dangers inherent in the product and their avoidability, because of general public knowledge of the obvious condition of the product, or of the existence of suitable warnings or instructions; and (7) the feasability, on the part of the manufacturer, of spreading the loss by setting the prices of the product or carrying liability insurance. See Tabieros, 85 Hawaii at 366, 944 P.2d 1279 (citing Larsen v. Pacesetter Sys., Inc., 74 Haw. 1, 837 P.2d 1273 (1992)); see also Wagatsuma v. Patch, 10 Haw.App. 547, 566-67, 879 P.2d 572 (1994), cert. denied, 77 Hawaii 373, 884 P.2d 1149 (1994)." Akee v. Dow Chemical Co., supra, 272 F.Supp.2d 1112 at 1131-1132.


(3) Under the latent danger test, the plaintiff must prove the following four elements:

1) even if faultlessly made, the use of the product in a manner that is intended or reasonably foreseeable, including reasonably foreseeable misuse, involves a substantial danger, and

2) the manufacturer knew or should have known about the danger, and

3) the danger would not be readily recognized by the ordinary user or consumer of the product, and

4) the manufacturer failed to give adequate warnings of the danger or adequate instructions for safe use.


Hawai'i Civil Jury Instruction No. 11.15, 1999 edition.


In Barker v. Lull Engineering, 20 Cal. 3d 413, 430, 143 Cal. Rptr. 225, 236, 573 P.2d 443, 454 (1978), the Supreme Court of California stated: “[A] product may be found defective in design, even if it satisfies ordinary consumer expectations, if through hindsight the jury determines that the product's design embodies 'excessive preventable danger'." The principles enunciated in Barker were adopted by the Supreme Court of the State of Hawaii in Ontai v. Straub Clinic and Hospital, 66 Haw. 237, 243, 659 P.2d 734, 740 (1983).

 

Facebook Company page for Accident Lawyer Hawaii - William H. Lawson LinkedIn Company page for Top Honolulu Personal Injury Attorney William H. Lawson Google+ page for Bill Lawson - HI's Best PI Law Firm




Accident Lawyer Hawaii

Law Office of
William H. Lawson

Century Square
1188 Bishop St. Suite 2902
Honolulu, HI 96813


New client hotline:
(808) 524-5300


Pearl City, Aiea and Waipahu:
(808) 671-7600


Main business phone:
(808) 528-2525


Directions to Honolulu office


Get a free consultation


HI accident news
and articles


Court cases re:
Hawaii accident law


Lawson Law
Scholarship 2017





Products Liability - Cases & Comment



Jones Act- maritime law and seaman cases



The Constitution Of The State Of Hawaii





Recent Personal Injury and Car Accident News


In the case of Tracey v. Solesky, 427 Md. 627, 50 A.3d 1075 (Md., 2012), the Court of Appeals of Maryland held that pit bull owners and harborers have strict liability for attacks on humans by their dogs. Massachusettes had previously established a similar policy. Cute pit bulls? Not hardly. Historically the dogs were bred to be weapons. They regularly maim and kill. Some courts are finally holding that owners and harborers of this particular breed are required to compensate their victims when their pit bulls wrongfully injure or kill - without the traditional "one free bite".










Choose one of the 4 menus below:



There is NO CHARGE for sending your case information to our law firm. The information provided on this website is preliminary and informational ONLY. It is not legal advice. The use of our webpages does not establish an attorney-client relationship. This website is copyright 1999-2017 and the contents of this website are the property of Personal Injury Attorney William H Lawson. The Terms and Conditions of Use for this website and our Privacy Policy are available here for your consideration. All rights reserved.

Hawaii Defective Products Liability Attorney Lawyer

We thank you for visiting our site!