Topic all of it’s own! How the US legal system works and determines loss or damages?
It would appear it is much less costly in the instance of a fatality. Cynically claims arising out of the misuse of a firearm might be the least expensive?
It might be more beneficial if the court was asked to determine whether to ban the product for the whole of the nation? This would seem to be a more universal test and not limited to the US system?
Currently the court outcome says it’s OK to continue the same at risk practices. Although at US$2B a time it would appear it is not sustainable.
Every invention carries risk. Some risks are more obvious or expected than others.
In the instance of the PanAm flight brought down over Lockerbie in Scotland by a terrorist bomb. Should the surviving residents have sued PanAm for not advising there is a risk, Boeing for not being bomb proof, or the inventor of the explosives used? Convenience is we still permit aircraft to carry passengers knowing some can still crash and cause harm. The benefits outweigh the risks. Convenience was also to shift the blame to terrorism. The true cause was more complex with numerous failures across all those involved? We acted after the event to reduce the risk and the community now pays more to fly, sharing the cost.
For herbicides in general are they marketed and community approved as low risk or zero risk? At best it is no demonstrated risk based on knowledge of the day!
At law what is a reasonable level of testing and assessment required to satisfy an accepted standard or level of risk once in use? It is typically not zero! (No pun intended)
Once approved for use, is the community also in agreement with the intended application of a product? Implicitly and explicitly, yes, although individual opinion can differ!
Once through the hurdles, there remains a need for those responsible for regulation and approval to ensure the standards the community have determined as acceptable are met.
In hind sight as we become better at the science and improve our understanding, who should carry the cost of any adverse consequences?
The manufacturer solely,
Collectively with the community that accepted, approved and benefitted from the use of a product?
My suggestion is that as the community has a shared responsibility for the outcomes, perhaps the community should also act to ensure there are better outcomes from future products!
Perhaps if it was also the US Govt that was being sued it would have a different outcome?