Personal Liability in Product Liability: Who Is Responsible?

By: Alan Thomas, John Isaac Southerland and Chip Jett
American Journal of Trial Advocacy
Volume 37, Number 3

Personal Liability in Product Liability: Who Is Responsible for What and Why?

Many practitioners argue that evidence of contributory negligence or comparative fault is admissible in product liability cases, but is this really true? As it turns out, the answer sometimes is yes and sometimes is no. Under the different methods by which a plaintiff may bring a product liability lawsuit, the facts of that same plaintiff’s involvement, or a non-party’s involvement, in the incident from which the injuries occurred can, at times, be admissible and, at other times, inadmissible. This article attempts to answer the question of when such evidence is admissible, but also seeks to equip practitioners with the necessary tools regarding how to navigate, and correctly present such evidence, in various jurisdictions. This article is not intended to advocate any particular variation of the rule but rather to observe the trends as well as common themes.

To read the article, click here.