NJPLANew Jersey Products Liability Act
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The NJPLA provides that "a manufacturer or seller of a product shall be liable in a product liability action only if the claimant proves by a preponderance of the evidence that the product causing the harm was not reasonably fit, suitable or safe for its intended purpose?' The statute defines "harm" as "physical damage to property, other than to the product itself." However, while the NJPLA defines "harm;' it does not define or explain the meaning of "physical damage to property, other than to the product itself'
The Third Circuit's decision noted that the economic loss doctrine precludes tort claims for purely economic loss without reference to whether the loss stems from damage to "the product itself" or "other property;' while the NJPLA provides a plaintiff with a tort remedy in the event of harm to "other property" without addressing New Jersey's case law preference for "keeping tort out of contract's hair?' Since the New Jersey Supreme Court had "not had occasion to harmonize that apparent tension;' the Third Circuit dove into the flay in an effort to predict how the New Jersey Supreme Court would rule.
Why has the interpretation of the NJPLA been so different from that of the MPLA?
But like the NJPLA, the Preamble to the WPLA expressly states its purpose of protecting businesses in the state of Washington by limiting, rather than expanding, product liability law.