Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law

First Page



In this Article, Professor Bernstein and Mr. Fanning argue that strict products liability, a legal rule recently adopted in the European Union, clashes with the culture of one of its large Member States, Italy. Using a wide array of source material--history, political sociology, literature, and numerous interviews--the authors begin with Italian traditions, exploring their implications for legal change. Strict products liability conflicts with these traditions. The doctrine is collectivist, tending to regard individuals in terms of group membership. Italians reject this aggregation, and affirm the singularity of a product design. The authors conclude that the EU attempt to harmonize its law of products liability will continue to evoke dissonance in Italy.