Unseaworthiness and Product Liability
posted by Gerard Magliocca
I thought I’d make the following observation for those of you who study or work on product liability issues. The maritime equivalent of product liability is the unseaworthiness action, which is based on the vessel owner’s provision of a defective ship. (There is also a contract version of unseaworthiness.) Much like product liability, the unseaworthiness tort action evolved from nothing, to negligence, and then to strict liability, which is the current rule. I don’t know enough about the details of what makes a ship unseaworthy to know if there are some useful analogies or insights in that doctrine for product liability, but it’s worth a look.