Individual States 

OKLAHOMA

ASSUMPTION OF RISK

The defense of voluntary assumption of risk can totally bar recovery in a products liability action. Kirkland v. General Motors Corp., 521 P.2d 1353 (Okla. 1974) .

CAPS ON NONECONOMIC DAMAGES

There are no exclusive Products Liability statutes under this category.

COLLATERAL SOURCE RULE

Compensation received by the injured party from a collateral source wholly independent of the wrongdoer, does not operate to lessen the damages recoverable from the wrongdoer. Okla. Stat. tit. 23, §61 .

Damages will be lessened if collateral source funds come from an insurance policy procured by the defendant for which a premium was paid. Overtuff v. Hart, 531 P.2d 1035 (Okla. 1975) .

COMPARATIVE FAULT

Oklahoma does not employ a system of comparative responsibility in strict liability product liability cases. Kirkland v. General Motors Corp., 521 P.2d 1353 (Okla. 1974) .

For negligence actions resulting in personal injuries or wrongful death, or injury to property, contributory negligence shall not bar a recovery, unless: any negligence of the person so harmed, is of greater degree than any negligence of the person causing such damage, or unless: any negligence of the person so harmed, is of greater degree than the combined negligence of any persons causing such damage. Okla. Stat. tit. 23, §13 .

ECONOMIC LOSS

No action lies in products liability for injuries only to the product itself resulting in purely economic loss. However, recovery is allowed for personal injury and damage to property other than the product itself. Waggoner v. Town & Country, 808 P.2d 649 (Okla. 1990) .

Damages to the defective product itself are recoverable under a products liability theory if there is also personal injury and/or injury to "other property". Dutsch v. Sea Ray Boat, Inc., 845 P.2d 187 (Okla.1992) .

JOINT & SEVERAL LIABILITY

Joint tortfeasors are entirely responsible for damages if the plaintiff is free from negligence. Brigance v. Velvet Dove Restaurant, 756 P.2d 1232 (1988) .

When two or more persons become jointly or severally liable in tort for the same injury to person or property or for the same wrongful death, there is a right of contribution among them even though judgment has not been recovered against all or any of them. Okla. Stat. tit. 12, §832(A) .

PUNITIVE DAMAGES

In Oklahoma, punitive damages may be assessed under theories of negligence or products liability, but not under contractual or breach of warranty theories. Waggoner v. Town & Country, 808 P.2d 649 (Okla. 1990) .

When a jury finds by "clear and convincing" evidence that the defendant: (1) acted in "reckless disregard for the rights of others," the award is limited to the greater of $100,000 or actual damages awarded; or (2) acted intentionally and with malice, the award is limited to $500,000 or two times the award of actual damages. The limit does not apply if the court finds evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant acted intentionally and with malice in conduct life-threatening to humans. Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 23, §9.1 .

RIGHT TO CONTRIBUTION

When two or more persons become jointly or severally liable in tort for the same injury to person or property or for the same wrongful death, there is a right of contribution among them even though judgment has not been recovered against all or any of them. Okla. Stat. tit. 12, §832(A) .

There is no right of contribution in favor of any tortfeasor who has intentionally caused or contributed to the injury or wrongful death. Okla. Stat. tit. 12, §832(C) .

A tortfeasor who enters into a settlement agreement, which does not extinguish the liability of another tortfeasor, has no right of contribution from the latter. In addition, a tortfeasor is not entitled to contribution for any amount paid in a settlement which is unreasonable. Okla. Stat. tit. 12, §832(H)(2) .

SPECIAL DEFENSES

A product that is incapable of being made safe under present technology, but social need warrants its production raises a defense to bar recovery. McKee v. Moore, 648 P.2d 21 (1982) .

There is no duty-to-warn of a danger that is obvious or generally known regarding a product. Duane v. Oklahoma Gas & Elec. Co., 833 P.2d 284 (1992) .

If user/consumer misuse is the sole proximate cause of injury, then he will be completely barred from recovery. Hutchins v. Silicone Specialties, Inc., 881 P.2d 64 (1993) .

State of the Art defense is recognized where liability is only imposed if a product was defective when first distributed, not at the time the plaintiff was injured. Smith v. Minster Mach. Co., 669 F.2d 628 (1982) .

STATUTES OF LIMITATION

Personal Injury and property damage actions must be brought within two years. Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 12, §95 .

Wrongful death actions must be brought within two years. Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 12, §1053 .

Breach of Warranty actions must be commenced within five years. Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 12A, §2-725 .

STATUTES OF REPOSE

There is no statute of repose for product liability actions in Oklahoma.

STRUCTURED SETTLEMENT

Oklahoma adopted the 'Structured Settlement Protection Act of 2001' to regulate arrangements for periodic payment of damages for personal injuries or sickness established by settlement or judgment in resolution of a tort claim; the principal object being to protect the payee and the payee's dependents from transferring the right to periodic payments in settlement of a personal injury claim. Okla. Stat. tit. 12, §3238, et seq .