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Examples of Strict Liability Actions

21. What other common strict liability causes of action exist?

Most states recognize similar types of conduct as subject to strict liability:

•    Ultrahazardous Activity – Courts may impose strict liability in tort for types of activities they call ultrahazardous. This may include activities such as working with explosives, wild animals, or extreme sports.

•    Dram Shop Acts  – These laws make sellers of alcoholic beverages directly to customers on the seller’s premises liable for harm caused as a result of the consumer becoming intoxicated.

•    Common Carriers – Carriers of cargo on behalf of others may be strictly liable to the owner for any harm suffered by the cargo. Risk of loss, however, may be shifted back on the owner via contract.

•    Discussion: How do you feel about the idea that an individual can be held liable for actions without having any intent to achieve a result or knowledge that the action is wrong? What if an individual is intentionally deceived into undertaking activity that entails strict liability?

•    Practice Question: Garth has a Rottweiler named Alf. Alf is generally very amiable. She has an buried electric fence that keeps Alf in her yard. One day, Alf sees a bicyclist riding by her house. She runs through the electric fence and bites the bicyclist. What is the likelihood that Garth will be held liable in this situation?

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