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Product Liability Litigation: Introduction

Introduction (Subject)

This research guide is intended for use by those interested in product liability law with parts being focused on the law in Missouri. Product liability is the liability attached to those who place products in the hands of consumers, and these products cause them injury. The Restatement (Third) of Torts: Product Liability divides product liability claims into the subsets of (a) manufacturing defect; (b) design defect; and (c) inadequate instruction or warning. The law can further be divided into claims resting on strict liability where no fault needs to be proven, and claims resting on negligence principles involving an element of ordinary care. 

This research guide is an attempt to streamline research on product liability law, with parts being focused on streamlining research in Missouri, by compiling what I have found to be the most useful sources for the law both on a national scale and narrowed to Missouri. This guide contains information on secondary sources, Missouri statutes, and links to sources to help practitioners stay current on the law. 



This guide has been created in support of Professor Diamond's Advanced Legal Research class for Fall 2016. The contents of this guide should not be taken as legal advice or as the work product of Mizzou Law librarians.

Research Strategy

Product liability law is effectively researched through a number of treatises and thorough case law research in the relevant jurisdiction. It is also important to check the state statutes of the relevant jurisdiction as, for example, Missouri has a statutory "state of the art" defense.  Additionally, with a strong public interest in the products often at the center of product liability litigation, the media and blogs are often a good source of quick and easy-to-read factual information. It is also very important for litigators to locate effective expert witnesses to testify about the various complexities of the products at issue.