Summary: S.687 — 103rd Congress (1993-1994)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for S.687. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in Senate (03/31/1993)

Product Liability Fairness Act - Declares that this Act applies to any civil action brought against a manufacturer or product seller, on any theory, for harm caused by a product. Excludes actions brought for loss or damage to a product or for commercial loss. States that: (1) this Act supersedes any State law only to the extent that this Act establishes an applicable rule of law; and (2) the provisions of title I shall not supersede or preempt any applicable State or Federal law.

Title I: Expedited Judgments and Alternative Dispute Resolution Procedures - Sets forth expedited settlement procedures, including: (1) the option of allowing either the claimant or the defendant to offer a judgment for a specific dollar amount as complete satisfaction of the claim; and (2) alternative dispute resolution (ADR) procedures. Establishes penalties for: (1) parties who refused an offer and did worse at trial; and (2) a defendant who refuses ADR and then loses at trial.

Title II: Standards for Civil Actions - States that a person seeking to recover for harm caused by a product may bring a civil action against the product's manufacturer or product seller pursuant to applicable State or Federal law, except to the extent such law is inconsistent with this Act.

Sets forth uniform standards for: (1) product seller liability; (2) the award of punitive damages; and (3) time limitations on liability. Bars punitive damages if the requirements of specified Federal laws have been met.

Entitles an employer or workers' compensation insurer to the right of subrogation against a manufacturer or product seller to recover workers' compensation for harm caused to an employee by a product if a civil suit has been brought under this Act.

Provides that each defendant shall only be liable for the amount of noneconomic loss proportionally caused.

Provides a complete defense, in any civil action in which all defendants are manufacturers or product sellers, in cases where the claimant was under the influence of alcohol or drugs and was more than 50 percent responsible for the harm.