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Strict Liability: Abnormally Dangerous and Ultrahazardous Activities

Strict liability for dangerous activities began with the English case of Rylands v. Fletcher. The First Restatement and the Second Restatement both contained provisions for a similar form of such strict liability and such liability is widely recognized in the United States. This lesson explains and uses examples to explain and then compare and contrast those different theories. In addition, this lesson covers the basic limitations on that form of strict liability.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the lesson, students will be able to:

  1. Define the concept of strict liability.
  2. Explain the basic limitations on strict liability for abnormally dangerous and ultrahazardous activities.
  3. Analyze how the traditional negligence defenses work with strict liability.
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