Individual States 

UTAH

ASSUMPTION OF RISK

Under Utah's comparative fault scheme, a plaintiff's assumption of risk does not bar recovery. Utah Code Ann. §78-27-37(2) .

CAPS ON NONECONOMIC DAMAGES

There are no exclusive Products Liability statutes under this category.

COLLATERAL SOURCE RULE

There are no exclusive Products Liability statutes under this category.

COMPARATIVE FAULT

Utah applies a comparative fault scheme for all Product Liability claims, including strict liability. Plaintiff fault is not a bar to recovery and can recover the proportion of damages attributable to the product defect if plaintiff fault is less than 50 percent. The court may allocate fault to each person seeking recovery, each defendant, and to any other person whether immune from suit or joined as a party to the suit. Utah Code Ann. §§78-27-37(2) and 78-27-38 .

ECONOMIC LOSS

In Utah, the economic loss rule has only been applied to cases involving claims of negligent design and construction. Thus, there is no recovery for economic losses under a theory of negligent design or construction absent a showing of damage to person or property. Steiner Corp. v. Johnson & Higgins of California, 196 F.R.D. 653 (2000) ; Maack v. Resource Design & Constr., 875 P.2d 570 (Utah Ct.App.1994) .

When a duty exists independent of any contractual obligation between the parties, the economic loss rule does not bar a tort claim. Hermansen v. Tasulis, 48 P.3d 235 (Utah 2002) .

An earlier case held that economic losses are recoverable in negligent manufacture cases. W.R.H., Inc. v. Econ. Builder Supply, 633 P.2d 1384 (Utah 1981) . However, several courts have questioned the viability of such holding. Maack v. Resource Design & Constr, 875 P.2d 570 (Utah Ct.App.1994) .

JOINT & SEVERAL LIABILITY

In product liability actions joint and several liability is effectively abolished. The maximum amount for which a defendant may be liable is the percentage of the total damages equivalent to the percentage of fault attributed to the defendant. Utah Code Ann. §78-27-40(1) .

Joint claims are statutorily permitted for plaintiff's bringing common law negligence and strict liability claims. Slisze v. Stanley-Bostitch, 979 P.2d 317 (Utah 1999)

PUNITIVE DAMAGES

Punitive damages are recoverable in actions of strict liability and negligence, but not in actions sounding only in breach of warranty. Utah Code Ann. §78-18-2 .

RIGHT TO CONTRIBUTION

A defendant is not entitled to contribution from any other person. Utah Code Ann. §78-18-40 .

A release given by a person seeking recovery to one or more defendants does not discharge any other defendant unless the release so provides. Utah Code Ann. §78-18-42 .

Right to contribution or indemnity arising from statute, contract or agreement is not affected by the above provisions. Utah Code Ann. §78-18-43 .

SPECIAL DEFENSES

A user's substantial alteration or misuse of a product does not bar recovery, but is weighed and applied to the contributory fault scheme. However, if the court determines that the misuse is foreseeable, a defendant cannot use this defense. Utah Code Ann. §78-27-37(2) ; Allen v. Minnstar, Inc., 97 F.3d 1365 (10th Cir. 1996) .

State of the Art – plaintiff must show that an alternative safer design, practicable under the circumstances, was available at the time of the sale of product in order to recovery. Allen v. Minnstar, Inc., 8 F.3d 1470 (10th Cir. 1993) .

Plaintiff must prove specific defect as cause of injury in order for recovery under product liability. Burns v. Cannondale Bicycle Co., 876 P.2d 415 (Utah Ct. App. 1994) .

There is a rebuttable presumption that a product compliance with applicable government standards at the time of marketing is not defective. Utah Code Ann. §78-15-6(3) .

Any clause in a sales contract or collateral document that requires a purchaser or end user of a product to indemnify, hold harmless, or defend a manufacturer of a product shall be contrary to public policy and is void and unenforceable if a defect in the design or manufacturing of the product causes an injury or death. Utah Code Ann. §78-15-7 .

STATUTES OF LIMITATION

Claims for negligence resulting in personal injury (excluding wrongful death) must be brought within four years. Utah Code Ann. §78-12-25(3) .

Claims for wrongful death must be brought within two years. Utah Code Ann. §78-12-28(2) .

Claims for injury to personal or real property must be brought within three years. Utah Code Ann. §78-12-26 .

All strict liability claims under the Products Liability Act, whether for personal injury, death, or property damage, must be brought within two years of the time the claimant discovered or should have discovered both the harm and the cause. Utah Code Ann. §78-15-3 .

Breach of warranty claims must be brought within four years of the tender of delivery, unless the warranty explicitly extends to future performance. (However, breach of warranty claims seeking damages in personal injury or tortuous injury to personal property are treated as tort claims and are subject to the applicable tort limitations period.) Utah Code Ann. §70A-2-275(1) .

STATUTES OF REPOSE

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

STRUCTURED SETTLEMENT

There are no exclusive Products Liability statutes under this category.