Alaska

Louisiana

 

 

 

Statutes of Limitations (LOUISIANA)

All Tort Actions (Personal Injury, Wrongful Death, etc.) - 1 yr. (from the day injury sustained) [LSA-CC. Art. 3492]

Wrongful Death - 1 yr. [LSA-CC. Art. 3492, 2315.2]

Real Property Damage - 1 yr. (discovery rule applies) [LSA-CC. Art. 3493]

Personal Property Damage - 1 yr. (from the day injury sustained) [LSA-CC. Art. 3492]

Contracts (Oral and Written) - 10 yrs. [LSA-CC. Art. 3499]

 

 

 

 

 

Statute of Repose (Products) (LOUISIANA)

None.

 

 

 

 

 

Admissibility of Expert Testimony (LOUISIANA)

The similarity between the federal and Louisiana rules on the admission of expert testimony persuaded Louisiana Supreme Court to adopt Daubert’s requirement that expert scientific testimony must rise to a threshold level of reliability in order to be admissible [State v. Foret, 628 So. 2d 1116 (La. 1993)].

 

Causes of Action (LOUISIANA)

Product liability law has been codified by the Louisiana Products Liability Act (“Act”).  The Act establishes the exclusive theories of liability for manufacturers for damage caused by their products. A claimant may not recover from a manufacturer for damage caused by a product on the basis of any theory of liability that is not set forth in the Act [La. R.S. § 9:2800.52].

 

The manufacturer is liable to a claimant for damage proximately caused by a characteristic of the product that renders the product unreasonably dangerous when such damage arose from a reasonably anticipated use of the product by the claimant or another person or entity [La. R.S. § 9:2800.54].

 

Definition of “Defect” (LOUISIANA)

 

Manufacturing Defect: a product is unreasonably dangerous in construction or composition if, at the time it left manufacturer’s control, it deviated in a material way from the manufacturer’s specifications or performance standards for the product or from otherwise identical products manufactured by the same manufacturer [La. R.S. § 9:2800.55].

 

Design Defect: a product is unreasonably dangerous in design if, at the time it left manufacturer’s control: (1) there existed an alternative design that was capable of preventing the claimant’s damage; and (2) the likelihood that the product’s design would cause the claimant’s damage and the gravity of that damage outweighed the burden on the manufacturer of adopting such alternative design and the adverse effect, if any, of such alternative design on the utility of the product. An adequate warning about a product is considered in evaluating the likelihood of damage when the manufacturer has used reasonable care to provide the adequate warning to users and handlers of the product [La. R.S. § 9:2800.56].

 

Warning Defect: a product is unreasonably dangerous because an adequate warning about the product has not been provided if, at the time it left manufacturer’s control, it possessed a characteristic that may cause damage and the manufacturer failed to use reasonable care to provide an adequate warning of such characteristic and its danger to users and handlers of the product [La. R.S. § 9:2800.57]. 

 

Warranty Nonconformity: a product is unreasonably dangerous when it does not conform to an express warranty made at any time by the manufacturer about the product if the express warranty has induced the claimant to use the product and the claimant’s damage was proximately caused because the express warranty was untrue [La. R.S. § 9:2800.58].

 

 

 

Liability of Sellers (LOUISIANA)

 

A seller is not liable, unless: (1) he exercises control over or influences a characteristic of the design, construction or quality of the product that causes damage; or (2) he is a seller of a product of an alien manufacturer if the seller is in the business of importing or distributing the product for resale and the seller is the alter ego of the alien manufacturer (a “product of an alien manufacturer” is a product that is manufactured outside the United States by a manufacturer who is a citizen of another country or who is organized under the laws of another country) [La. R.S. § 9:2800.53]

 

Defenses (LOUISIANA)

     

Comparative Negligence – Louisiana follows pure comparative negligence (Plaintiff can recover even if 99% at fault). [LSA-CC. Art. 2323].  Applies to product liability cases [Bell v. Jet Wheel Blast, Div. of Ervin Industries, 462 So. 2d 166 (La. 1985)].   

 

Assumption of Risk – Abolished in tort law [Murray v. Ramada Inns, Inc., 521 So. 2d 1123 (La. 1988)].

 

Product Alteration/Modification – No defense if “reasonably anticipated alteration or modification.”  “Reasonably anticipated alteration or modification” means a change in a product that the manufacturer should reasonably expect to be made by an ordinary person in the same or similar circumstances, and also means a change arising from ordinary wear and tear. “Reasonably anticipated alteration or modification” does not mean the following: (a) alteration, modification or removal of an otherwise adequate warning provided about a product; (b) the failure of a person, other than the manufacturer of a product, reasonably to provide to the product user an adequate warning that the manufacturer provided about the product, when the manufacturer has satisfied his obligation to use reasonable care to provide the adequate warning by providing it to such person or entity rather than to the product user; (c) changes to or in a product or its operation because the product does not receive reasonable care and maintenance [La. R.S. § 9:2800.53]. 

 

Product Misuse – No defense if “reasonably anticipated use.”  “Reasonably anticipated use” means a use or handling of a product that the product’s manufacturer should reasonably expect of an ordinary person in the same or similar circumstances [La. R.S. § 9:2800.53].

 

 

 

Economic Loss Doctrine (Product Destroys Only Itself) (LOUISIANA)

Not recognized in product liability actions.  The Act defines “Damage” as all damage caused by a product and includes damage to the product itself and economic loss arising from a deficiency in or loss of use of the product [La. R.S. 9:2800.53].

 

Malfunction Theory (Using Circumstantial Evidence To Prove Defect) (LOUISIANA)

Where a particular defect or dangerous condition is not directly shown to exist at the time of manufacture, and the product abnormally malfunctions, or even is directly shown to have a defective component, on the occasion of an accident occurring a significant time after manufacture, this will not alone authorize a finding that the product was defective while in the manufacturer's hands, if maintenance and employment by intervening owners and users is not adequately accounted for [Scott v. White Trucks, 699 F.2d 714 (5th Cir. La. 1983)].

 

Design Defects (LOUISIANA)                                                                                               

A product is unreasonably dangerous in design if, at the time it left manufacturer’s control: (1) there existed an alternative design that was capable of preventing the claimant’s damage; and (2) the likelihood that the product’s design would cause the claimant’s damage and the gravity of that damage outweighed the burden on the manufacturer of adopting such alternative design and the adverse effect, if any, of such alternative design on the utility of the product. An adequate warning about a product is considered in evaluating the likelihood of damage when the manufacturer has used reasonable care to provide the adequate warning to users of the product [La. R.S. § 9:2800.56].

 

A manufacturer is not liable if he proves that, at the time the product left his control: (1) he did not know and, in light of then-existing reasonably available scientific and technological knowledge, could not have known of the design characteristic that caused the damage or the danger of such characteristic; or (2) he did not know and, in light of then-existing reasonably available scientific and technological knowledge, could not have known of the alternative design identified by the claimant; or (3) the alternative design identified by the claimant was not feasible, in light of then-existing reasonably available scientific and technological knowledge or then-existing economic practicality [La. R.S. § 9:2800.59].

 

Failure to Warn (LOUISIANA)

A product is unreasonably dangerous because an adequate warning about the product has not been provided if, at the time it left manufacturer’s control, it possessed a characteristic that may cause damage and the manufacturer failed to use reasonable care to provide an adequate warning of such characteristic and its danger to users and handlers of the product [La. R.S. § 9:2800.57]. 

 

“Adequate warning” means a warning or instruction that would lead an ordinary reasonable user of a product to contemplate the danger in using or handling the product and either to decline to use or handle the product or, if possible, to use or handle the product in such a manner as to avoid the damage for which the claim is made [La. R.S. § 9:2800.53].

 

A manufacturer is not liable if he proves that, at the time the product left his control, he did not know and, in light of then-existing reasonably available scientific and technological knowledge, could not have known of the characteristic that caused the damage or the danger of such characteristic [La. R.S. § 9:2800.59].

 

When a manufacturer fails to give adequate warnings or instructions, a presumption arises that the user would have read and heeded such admonitions. The presumption may be rebutted if the manufacturer produces contrary evidence which persuades the trier of fact that an adequate warning or instruction would have been futile under the circumstances [Bloxom v. Bloxom, 512 So. 2d 839 (La. 1987)].

 

 

 

 

Independent Cause of Action for Evidence Spoliation (LOUISIANA)

The Court of Appeals has indicated that independent claims for negligent or intentional spoliation are available [Guillory v. Dillard's Dept. Store, Inc., 777 So.2d 1 (La. App. 2000)].  However, Louisiana Supreme Court subsequently held that no cause of action exists for negligent spoliation of evidence [Reynolds v. Bordelon, 172 So.3d 589 (La. 2015)].  Therefore, it appears that an independent cause of action exists only in cases where the spoliation was intentional.