What is “strict liability”?

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Law Reading Comprehension


 Reading Comprehension- PART I   (2.5-3 pages)  goal should be to accurately state the

relevant points of law as concisely as possible. Only draw on readings listed above and please use internal citations and provide a separate references section)


1)      What is “strict liability”? How does it differ from liability for negligence? What arguments did

the plaintiff in Hammontree make in an effort to convince the court to apply strict liability? Why did the

court reject those arguments? Why couldn’t the defendant in Hammontree have been held liable for the

plaintiff’s damages under the doctrine of negligence?

2)       In Adams, what were Judge Cardozo’s reasons for finding that the trolley company was not

 negligent? What did he mean by the statement, “Facility of protection may impose a duty to protect”?

3)       Explain the Hand formula in 100 words or fewer. Apply the formula to the case of Adams v.



Analysis of Concepts and Discussion- PART II   (each question requires 1 page response, please try to be concise and eloquent, draw on readings listed above and cite appropriately, I require internal citations and a separate reference section)


1)      Drawing on the principles discussed in Theories of Tort Law, discuss whether you think it would have been appropriate for the court to extend the rule of strict liability to the facts of Hammontree.  (1 page)


2)       Assume a car manufacturer identifies a new safety feature that, if adopted, would prevent $50

million in damages per year, including several deaths. The feature would cost $30 per car, or $60 million

for all 2 million cars the manufacturer produces in a single year. The cost could be passed on to

consumers in the form of higher prices, but because competition is tight the manufacturer is reluctant to raise prices (and it obviously does not want to absorb the $60 million cost on its own). So it decides not to install the new feature. If someone is injured in an accident that could have been avoided had the new feature been installed, would the manufacturer be considered negligent under the formula outlined by Judge Hand in U.S. v. Carroll Towing? Do you think the Hand formula captures all of the considerations that are relevant to assessing whether the manufacturer exercised reasonable care?  (1 page) 


Law Reading Comprehension Name Institution Part 1 Question 1 What is “strict liability”? It is a rule that describes acts that pose sufficient risks, which the law requires the actor to be liable of their possible perils (DeWolf, 1993). Strict liability is essential in ensuring that certain activities are only done if their actors are willing to insure the public of their safety from any possible harm that may result from such activities. The rule provides a sufficient social policy by safeguarding the interests of others in the society. Under the rule of strict liability, the Plaintiff does not have to prove negligence on the part of the Defendant, but only showing causation could be enough. Strict liability emphasizes that one should not flout the duty not to injure and that is it. However, in some situations, fault is conditional but only when actual damage or harm occurs. How does it differ from liability for negligence? Liability for negligence is defined by the rule of fault liability that describes an activity when it flouts a duty not to injure recklessly, or negligently. The rule emphasizes on people to be careful when conducting their actions in order to avoid injuring others incase on any risk arising from the actions. The rule differs from strict liability in that the Plaintiff has to prove the negligence, for instance, the Defendant did not maintain reasonable precaution resulting his/her actions to cause harm to t


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