1. Sorry, Your Policy is Canceled, Time, March 24, 1986, at 16.

  2. P. Huber, Liability: The Legal Revolution and Its Consequences 3-4 (1988).

  3. The Angry Retort Against Tort Law, Insight, Oct. 31, 1988, at 13.

  4. Liability’s Creative Clamp Holds Firms to the Status Quo, Insight, August 29, 1988, at 38.

  5. Priest, The Current Insurance Crisis and Modern Tort Law, 96 Yale L. J. 1521, n. 1-9 (1987).

  6. K. Abraham, The Causes of the Insurance Crisis, from galley proofs for inclusion in Manhattan Institute, New Directions in Liability Law (1988).

  7. Insurance Conspiracy? A Response to the Attorneys General Lawsuit, American Legislative Exchange Council, Vol. 14, No. 6, August, 1988, at 1.

  8. Insurance Profitability – The Facts, Insurance Services Office, February, 1986.

  9. Priest, supra note 5, at 1529.

  10. R. Willard, Remarks before the Alliance of American Insurers concerning The State of Tort Reform in America. (Oct. 1, 1987).

  11. Governor’s Advisory Commission on Liability Insurance, Insuring Our Future (State of New York, April 7, 1986).

  12. In fact, in many states, most notably Massachusetts, there has been an auto insurance crisis during this period. However, few attribute it to the underwriting cycle. In states where an auto crisis is severe, the blame has correctly been placed on government regulation of the market. See e.g. Melloan, How to Create an Automobile Insurance Mess, The Wall Street J., Sep. 13, 1988 at 15, col. 3.

  13. Hensler, Vaiana, Kakalik, and Peterson, Trends in Tort Litigation: The Story Behind the Statistics, 6 (RAND Corporation, Institute for Civil Justice, 1987) (Hereinafter RAND Study).

  14. Id.

  15. Id.

  16. See infra text accompanying notes 51-53.

  17. Id. at 6-11.

  18. Huber, supra note 2, at 161.

  19. Id. at 160.

  20. There is reason to believe this is a contributing factor. The plaintiffs bar is far more organized than in the past, and the field, once shunned by most top attorneys, has gained considerably in prestige over the last two decades.

  21. RAND Study , supra note 13 , at 16-18.

  22. Id. at 19.

  23. Id. at 21.

  24. Id.

  25. Abraham, supra note 6.

  26. Priest, The Invention of Enterprise Liability: A Critical History of the Intellectual Foundations of Modern Tort Law, 14 J. of Legal Studies 461 (1985).

  27. 24 Cal. 2d 453, 462, 150 P.2d 436, 440-41 (1944) (Traynor, concurring).

  28. Epstein, Products Liability as an Insurance Market , 14 J. of Legal Studies 645, 647 (1985).

  29. e.g. Winterbottom v. Wright , 10 M&W 109, 152 Eng. Rep. 402 (Ex. 1842).

  30. Husett v. J. I. Case Threshing Machine Co., 120 F. 865, 868 (8th Cir., 1903).

  31. MacPherson v. Buick Motor Co., 217 N.Y. 382, 391, 111 N.E. 1050, 1053 (1916). Plaintiff sued after his car crashed due to a defective tire.

  32. Spence v. Three Rivers Builders & Masonry Supply Inc., 353 Mich. 120 (1958).

  33. 375 Mich. 85 (1965).

  34. 32 N.J. 358, 161 A.2d 69 (1970).

  35. 32 N.J. 358 at 384.

  36. 59 Cal. 2d 57, 377 P.2d 897 (1962).

  37. 59 Cal. 2d at 63-64.

  38. See supra note 32 and accompanying text.

  39. 375 Mich. 85 at 99-100.

  40. Blanchard v. Monical Machinery Co., 84 Mich. App. 279 (1978)

  41. See supra text at 12-13.

  42. Prentiss v. Yale Manufacturing Co., 421 Mich. 670, 681 (1984).

  43. 26 Mich. App. 602

  44. Id. at 615.

  45. MCL 600. 2945.

  46. See, e.g. Phillips v. J. L. Hudson, 79 Mich. App. 425 (1977).

  47. 60 Mich. App. 392 (1975).

  48. 100 Mich. App. 108 (1980).

  49. 75 Mich. App. 180 (1977).

  50. 400 Mich. 425 (1977).

  51. 421 Mich. 670, 684 (quoting Wade, On Product Design Defects and Their Accountability, 33 Van. L. R. 551, 552 (1980).

  52. 421 Mich. at 682-83.

  53. 44 Mich. App. 29 (1972), quoting Professor, Law of Torts, 3d Ed. P. 68, p.471.

  54. 94 Mich. App. 59 (1980), 418 Mich. 311 (1984).

  55. 418 Mich. at 332.

  56. Calton, Tanase, and Turnbull, Annual Survey of Michigan Law – Torts, 31 Wayne L. Rev. 815, 831 (1984).

  57. 376 Mich. 198 (1965).

  58. 95 Mich. App. 167 (1980).

  59. 418 Mich. 311 (1984).

  60. Silver and Toth, 1980 Annual Survey of Michigan Law – Torts, 27-Wayne L. Rev. 967, 976 (1980).

  61. The author disagrees with this contention. See infra p.48.

  62. For a somewhat different handling of the problem, with equally destructive results, see Sindell v. Abbott Laboratories, 26 Cal. 3d 588, 607 P. 2d 924 (1980).

  63. Abraham, supra, note 6, at 6.

  64. MCL 600.6304 (4)-(6).

  65. MCL 600.2949 made the switch for products liability cases in December, 1978. Weeks later, the State Supreme Court made comparative negligence the rule in all cases with its decision in Placek v. City of Sterling Heights, 405 Mich. 638 (1979).

  66. 42 Mich. App. 426 (1972).

  67. 41 Mich. App. 192 (1972).

  68. 57 Mich. App. 79 (1974).

  69. See, e.g., Harper & James, Law of Torts, P.21.8, p.1191 (1956).

  70. e.g. Meistrich v. Casino Arena Attractions, Inc., 31 N.J. 44, 155 A.2d 90; Williamson v. Smith, 83 N.M. 336, 491 P.2d 1147 (1971).

  71. 375 Mich. 23 (1965).

  72. See The T.J. Hooper, 60 F.2d 737 (2d Cir. 1932). This argument seems to assume, probably incorrectly, that defendants have no market incentives to make their products safer.

  73. Emery v. Chesapeake & Ohio Railway, 372 Mich. 663 (1964).

  74. 56. MCL 600.2946.

  75. Owens v. Allis-Chalmers Corp., 414 Mich 413 (1982).

  76. RAND Study, supra note 13, at 19-24.

  77. Daley v. LaCroix, 384 Mich. 4 (1970).

  78. Toms v. McConnell, 45 Mich. App. 647 (1973).

  79. 106 N.J. 557 (1987).

  80. Hagerty v. L&L Marine Service, 788 F.2d 315 (5th Cir. 1986).

  81. Escola v. Coca Cola Bottling Co., 24 Cal. 2d 453, 150 P.2d 436 (1944) (Traynor, concurring).

  82. Priest, supra note 5, at 1552, 1585-86.

  83. Huber, supra note 2, at 4.

  84. Gregory, Trespass, to Negligence, to Absolute Liability, 37 Va. LL. Rev. 359 (1951); Horwitz, The Transformation of American Law, 1780-1860 (1977); contra Schwartz, Tort Law and the Economy in Nineteenth-Century America: A Reinterpretation, 90 Yale L. J. 1717 (1981).

  85. RAND Study, supra note 13, at 26.

  86. P. Huber, remarks before meeting of the Harvard Federalist Society For Law and Public Policy, Nov. 21, 1988.