Rhode Island Changes Its Products Liability Law

White and Williams LLP
Contact

White and Williams LLP

Rhode Island’s governor, Daniel McKee, signed 2021 R.I. HB 5867/2021 R.I. SB 736 into law on July 13, 2021. The enactment changes Rhode Island’s products liability law and impacts how courts treat a manufacturer’s or seller’s claim that it is not liable due to a subsequent alteration or modification of the product.

For cases arising on or prior to July 13, 2021, Rhode Island law states that “[n]o manufacturer or seller of a product shall be liable for product liability damages where a substantial cause of the injury . . . or damage was a substantial alteration or modification.” R.I. Gen. Laws § 9-1-32(b). For cases arising after July 13, 2021, the law was changed, such that any defense based on a subsequent alteration or modification to the product “that is found to be a significant contributing factor to the injury . . . or property damage shall be controlled by the comparative negligence provisions of § 9-20-4.” R.I. Gen. Laws § 9-1-32(b) (eff. July 13, 2021). Thus, going forward, where a subsequent alteration or modification is a substantial cause of the injury or damage at issue, rather than being a complete defense to liability, Rhode Island’s system of pure comparative negligence will apply.

 

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© White and Williams LLP | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

White and Williams LLP
Contact
more
less

White and Williams LLP on:

Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
- hide
- hide

This website uses cookies to improve user experience, track anonymous site usage, store authorization tokens and permit sharing on social media networks. By continuing to browse this website you accept the use of cookies. Click here to read more about how we use cookies.