skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 122498 Find in a Library
Title: Crashworthiness and Erie: Determining State Law Regarding the Burden of Proving and Apportioning Damages
Journal: Temple Law Review  Volume:62  Issue:2  Dated:(Summer 1989)  Pages:587-623
Author(s): G F Tietz; M A Bushman; J R Podraza Jr
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 37
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The 1968 judicial doctrine of crashworthiness is examined, with emphasis on the responsibilities of tortfeasors in proving and apportioning damages.
Abstract: The 1968 case of Larsen v. General Motors Corp. established the doctrine of crashworthiness and defined the duty that an automobile manufacturer owes to the general public in designing automobiles for safe transportation. After Larsen, Federal and State courts accepted the rationale that an automobile manufacturer had a duty to design a reasonably crashworthy vehicle. The crashworthiness doctrine has also been extended to the manufacture of motorcycles, snowmobiles, and airplanes. An inappropriate application of the doctrine gives the plaintiff the burden of proving the extent of harm caused by the respective conduct of multiple tortfeasors. A more just application of the doctrine gives the tortfeasors the responsibility to mitigate their respective responsibilities by determining how much each is liable for the total harm to the plaintiff. Both Pennsylvania precedent and the Restatement (Second) of Torts are consistent with the latter application of the crashworthiness doctrine. 292 footnotes.
Main Term(s): Legal doctrines; Products liability
Index Term(s): Accident investigation; Burden of proof; Civil liability; Legal liability
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.