1.    The legislative assembly finds that products liability reforms enacted in 1979, 1987, and 1993 have provided a needed degree of certainty in the laws governing civil actions against product manufacturers and sellers.

Terms Used In North Dakota Code 28-01.3-07

  • Damages: Money paid by defendants to successful plaintiffs in civil cases to compensate the plaintiffs for their injuries.
  • Equitable: Pertaining to civil suits in "equity" rather than in "law." In English legal history, the courts of "law" could order the payment of damages and could afford no other remedy. See damages. A separate court of "equity" could order someone to do something or to cease to do something. See, e.g., injunction. In American jurisprudence, the federal courts have both legal and equitable power, but the distinction is still an important one. For example, a trial by jury is normally available in "law" cases but not in "equity" cases. Source: U.S. Courts
  • Litigation: A case, controversy, or lawsuit. Participants (plaintiffs and defendants) in lawsuits are called litigants.
  • Statute: A law passed by a legislature.

2.    In recent years it has become increasingly evident that there are still serious problems with the current civil justice system. As a result, there is an urgent need for additional legislation to establish clear and predictable rules with respect to certain matters relating to products liability actions.

3.    The purpose of sections 28-01.3-08 and 28-01.3-09 is to clarify and improve the method of determining responsibility for the payment of damages in products liability litigation; to restore balance and predictability between the consumer and the manufacturer or seller in product liability litigation; to bring about a more fair and equitable resolution of controversies in products liability litigation; to re-enact a statute of repose to provide a reasonable period of time for the commencement of products liability litigation after a manufacturer or seller has parted with possession of its product; to address problems that have been created by judicial interpretation of our previous enactments; to enact, with minor changes, several provisions of former chapter 28-01.1; and to simplify and provide an increased degree of certainty and predictability to our products liability laws.