Summary: H.R.2729 — 98th Congress (1983-1984)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.2729. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in House (04/25/1983)

Product Liability Act of 1983 - Sets forth uniform national standards for products liability cases.

Preempts inconsistent Federal and State laws. Permits actions under this Act to be brought in State court or Federal court if the United States is a party or diversity jurisdiction exists.

Prohibits recovery for other than commercial loss or damage to the product itself, except as otherwise provided in this Act.

Sets forth basic standards of responsibility for manufacturers and product sellers other than manufacturers including wholesalers, distributors, retailers, lessors, packagers, and repairers.

Establishes rules relating to proof in products liability cases with respect to Federal Government standards and contract specifications.

Prohibits admission of postmanufacturing improvements except for the purpose of impeaching a witness for the product seller who denies the feasibility of such improvements. Allows a manufacturer to introduce certain precautionary measures.

Provides that all product liability actions shall be governed by the principles of comparative responsibility. Specifies the manner in which damages are to be apportioned. Provides that comparative damages apply only to compensatory damages.

Requires the reduction of any damage award by the amount of workers' compensation benefits which are paid.

Makes a product seller who acted with flagrant indifference to consumer safety, where the act was an extreme departure from accepted practice, liable for punitive damages.

Establishes a two-year statute of limitations and a ten-year statute of repose.