Vanderbilt Law Review

First Page



In a products liability case, evidence of defendant's due care in the manufacturing or processing operation can be a potent and sometimes critical factor in the decision of a judge or jury.' The question remains,however, whether such evidence is properly admissible under contemporary versions of the implied warranty and strict liability theories that have fashioned the recent revolution in consumer product law. The leading chronicler of the revolution, Dean Prosser, has noted the practical importance of the issue and has concluded, apparently without reservation, that in the ordinary case evidence of the defendant's due care is immaterial. The reasoning is superficially compelling: since strict liability eliminates any question of negligence, it simply is not relevant whether the defendant did or did not exercise due care. This conclusion is supported by a leading Washington decision, Pulley v. Pacific Coca-Cola Bottling Co.,' and several other cases.

Analysis indicates, however, that the question is not so simple, and that evidence of due care probably should be admitted under many circumstances.

Included in

Law Commons