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Study on the System of Punitive Damages in Product Liability

Author: XuLuYan
Tutor: LiangHuiXing
School: Shandong University
Course: Legal
Keywords: product liability obligation of tort punitive damages compensations protection of the consumer
CLC: D913
Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2007
Downloads: 326
Quote: 2
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The system of punitive damages is exclusive in the Anglo-American law, it is regarded as one of the most complicated and controversial problems in the Anglo-American tort law. Its purpose is to punish the injury, giving the victim compensation money exceeding his actual loss. Most countries of Civil Law system insist that compensation serves only one function and never admit the system of punitive damages is a kind of civil liability. In recent years, many scholars have introduced the system of punitive damages to the field of the rights and interests of consumers’ protection under the influence of Western countries, e.g. Taiwan area of our country. "Consumer’s Rights and Interests Protection Law" has the regulations of punitive damages. Apparently, this is a legislative acknowledgement to the system of punitive damages. However, we ought to see that the regulations of punitive damages have many limitations. Sudan Event, QiEr medicine case, Xinfu and other events concerning the product liability in recent years are all challenging the current law regulations of our country.This paper explores the punitive damages’ bases, social functions and the conditions of application. Drawing on the experience of other countries, make further research about how to improve the system of punitive damages in our country. Part one looks back the origin and the development of punitive damages in the ancient times of foreign countries and our country by historical observations and comparative analysis. Comparing to traditional compensation for damages, compensation for spiritual damages, administration sanction and criminal punishment, make punitive damages’ unique functions and existence necessity clear. Part two sets forth the social functions consist in compensation, deterrence and stimulation. The value bases of punitive damages are liberty and equality, justice, order and profitability. All this is done by the logic analysis and law economics study. Though a few defects, e.g. a challenge to the traditional civil law, the system of punitive damages, general speaking, could stimulate the consumers to protect their interests actively, supervise the producers to improve the product quality, deter others from offending against the law, and adapt to the trend of international legislation. Part three is a comparative research about the regulations of product liability in the world. Whether Anglo-American law system or civil law system, the great majority have established the system of punitive damages in product liability legislation. However, the regulations of the punitive damages in our country are not perfect and have some limitations in the application. Part four advises how to perfect the system of punitive damages in the product liability. The subjective condition is gross negligence or intentional act and the objective condition is the existence of damages caused by products. After stating the limitations of calculating the amount of punitive damages in a formula, advise the amount should have a maximum and conform to five factors. In the end, the paper pointes out the punitive damages should be attributed to the plaintiff.The research of this paper has many benefits: enrich our traditional civil law, guide the civil legislation and the judicial practice of our country, improve civil law system, train noble ethics of honesty and credit, set the positive social climate, punish and restrain the actions for infringement. The system of punitive damages can heavily attack the lawbreakers and protect the consumers’ legitimate rights and interests effectively. All above can advance the accomplishment of the harmonious society in our country.

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CLC: > Political, legal > Legal > UNIVERSITY > China and France
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