fbpx
News
March 9, 2006

ILR Warns Against Criminalization of Product Liability

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Legislation to impose criminal penalties in product liability cases would drastically impede American competitiveness and raises significant concerns about due process rights, according to testimony given today before the Senate Judiciary Committee by tort law expert Victor Schwartz on behalf of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

“The notion of applying criminal sanctions based on vague and unpredictable standards in tort law undermines the basic principles of due process,” said U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR) President Lisa Rickard. “There are numerous, tough criminal and civil sanctions already in place to deal with defective products, we do not need more.”

Under current law, the view that American business is not sufficiently deterred from knowingly producing and distributing defective products is without foundation, according to the Chamber. In fact, criminalizing product liability law is more likely to result in over-deterrence, exacerbating reluctance by corporations to develop and distribute new products at home and abroad. Studies by the RAND Institute have found that America’s product liability laws are slowing innovation efforts, particularly in the areas of vaccines, contraceptives, and biotechnology. Criminalization would also place added burdens on our already over-burdened courts.

“Criminalizing product liability would only compound the debilitating effects that fear of litigation is already having on the research and development of new, and in many cases, life-saving products,” Rickard continued. “Any such proposed legislation would fill a non-existent void at the price of American competitiveness.”

ILR’s mission is to make America’s legal system simpler, fairer, and faster for everyone. It seeks to promote civil justice reform through legislative, political, judicial, and educational activities at the national, state, and local levels. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation, representing more than 3 million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region.

calculator bankruptcy system Blog Protect the Integrity of the Bankruptcy System. Don’t Let Trial Lawyers Destroy It Other Issues Blog West Virginia Wants to Pay Jurors More---That’s a Good Thing Asbestos, Other Issues Podcasts Episode 23: Torts of The Future: Drones Class Action Litigation, Other Issues Press Releases US Chamber of Commerce Institute For Legal Reform Issues Statement on West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice’s Appointments to the Intermediate Court of Appeals Other Issues Podcasts EPISODE 21: Summit XXI: Litigation Line of Sight: Class and Mass Action Trends in Europe Class Action Litigation, Data Privacy, International Initiatives, Other Issues

Cookie Notice

By clicking “I Accept”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts.

Cookie Notice

By clicking “I Accept”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. Review Settings