Summary: H.R.3030 — 102nd Congress (1991-1992)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.3030. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in House (07/25/1991)

Fairness in Product Liability Act of 1991 - Governs any product liability action brought in either State or Federal court against a manufacturer or product seller on any theory for harm caused by a product, superseding State law in specified ways and degrees.

Makes a product seller liable only if the seller: (1) failed to exercise reasonable care regarding the product, and the failure was the proximate cause of the harm; (2) made an express warranty, independent of any express warranty by the manufacturer, the product failed to conform to the warranty and the failure caused the harm; or (3) engaged in international wrongdoing which was a proximate cause of the harm.

Makes a product seller liable as if the seller were the manufacturer if: (1) the manufacturer is not subject to service of process under State laws; or (2) a court determines the claimant would be unable to enforce a judgment against the manufacturer.

Allows, in certain circumstances, a complete defense of alcohol or controlled substance use.

Reduces damages by the percentage of harm attributable to misuse or alteration of a product by any person, subject to exception involving misuse or alteration by the claimant's employer or coemployees.

Allows punitive damages against a manufacturer or seller for conscious, flagrant indifference to user safety. Prohibits, in certain circumstances, punitive damages regarding a drug or device, as defined in the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, unless packaging of a drug is substantially out of compliance with tamper-resistant packaging regulations.

Declares manufacturer or seller liability to be several and not joint for noneconomic damages.

Requires a product liability action to be brought within two years after the harm and its cause is, or with reasonable diligence should have been, discovered. Sets the time limit at 25 years for products which are capital goods.

Requires offset of workers' compensation benefits. Sets forth rules regarding subrogation, contribution, indemnity, and liens. Provides for tort actions against employers.

Prohibits U.S. district courts from having jurisdiction under specified provisions of Federal law over any civil action arising under this Act.