Civil Discourse Now

Where the far left and far right overlap for fun and enlightenment

Wile E. Coyote v. Acme Corporation: Discussion of strict products liability theory in the context of Mr. Coyote's efforts to pursue his vocation as predator.

   Many of us are familiar with the woes of Wile E. Coyote in the Warner Brothers cartoons so inappropriately but commonly referred to as "Roadrunner cartoons." Many are unaware of the ways in which our court systems address problems of injuries and deaths that result from defective products placed into the stream of commerce by parties, usually corporations, with such disregard as the behemoth Acme Corporation.

   Today on "Civil Discourse Now," Abdul (who, like Cher and Madonna) needs only one name as identification, Mike Schultz of Parr, Richey, Obremsky, Frandsen and Patterson, Jim Buddenbaum---also a partner at Parr, Richey---Matt Stone and I shall discuss tort theories in the context of Mr. Coyote's lawsuit against Acme.

   "Strict liability" means, "Liability that does not depend on actual negligence or intent to harm, but that is based on the breach of an absolute duty to make something safe; strict liability most often applies either to ultrahazardous activities or to products-liability cases." Black's Law Dictionary, pocket ed., 1996, p. 377.

   Are manufacturers strictly liable for products they place into the stream of commerce? If so, should they be strictly liable for injuries that result from the use of a product when that use is the foreseeable use of the product? Think of Jarts, or the Acme rocket-propelled darts. 

   We shall discuss this serious topic in the context of humor---although Mr. Coyote's injuries were quite gruesome and a matter of which none of us should make light. We shall stream downtown from 11 am to 1 pm "live," with replays later in the week.

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