Cloture Not Invoked
June 29, 1994(Key vote)
Title: Product Liability Bill
Vote Smart's Synopsis:
Vote to invoke cloture on a bill that would establish uniform product liability laws in civil actions against product manufacturers or sellers.
- Determines that if a product causes harm to an individual then the product's seller may be held liable in a civil action lawsuit if the seller failed to exercise "reasonable care" or match the product's warranty.
- Declares that in order to receive punitive damages a claimant must establish "clear and convincing evidence" that the product in question caused harm because the manufacturer or seller failed to issue warnings about the product.
- Prohibits punitive damages against manufacturers or sellers of a drug or medical device if the drug or device was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) before it was released onto the market or if the product is "generally recognized as safe and effective" by the FDA, unless the manufacturer or seller withheld required information about the product from government agencies, including the FDA, or illegally paid an official from the FDA to secure the approval of the product.
- Prohibits punitive damages against manufacturers of an aircraft or aircraft component if the aircraft or component was approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) before it was released onto the market or if the FAA complied with all requirements and obligations in regards to the aircraft or component, unless the manufacturer withheld required information about the product from the FAA or illegally paid an official from the FAA to secure the approval of the product.
- Requires an individual to bring civil action within two years of being harmed by a product or within twenty-five years since the individual purchased the product.
- Declares that no civil action shall be brought against a manufacturer or product seller if during the time in which an individual was harmed that individual was under the influence of drugs or alcohol and at least 50 percent responsible for causing harm while under such influence.
NOTE: INVOKING CLOTURE REQUIRES A 3/5 MAJORITY OF THE SENATE. IT IS NOT A VOTE ON THE PASSAGE OF THE PIECE OF LEGISLATION, BUT LIMITS FURTHER DEBATE TO 30 HOURS. CLOTURE IS TYPICALLY USED TO END A FILIBUSTER. A FAILED CLOTURE VOTE OFTEN PREVENTS THE LEGISLATION FROM EVER COMING TO A VOTE.