The Louisiana Products Liability Act “establishes exclusive theories of liability for manufacturers for damage caused by their products.” La. R.S. 9:2800.52. However, the implied warranty of fitness and the implied warranty against redhibitory defects also protects consumers from defective products. So, how does the LPLA relate to these implied warranties?
The language of the LPLA defines “damage” as that for which Civil Code articles 2315, 2315.1 and 2315.2 provide recovery. Of course, these articles address actions based on intentional tort and negligence. Thus, the definition of damage under the LPLA makes clear that the Act provides exclusive theories of liability when a consumer is injured by a product due to the intent or negligence of the manufacturer. On the other hand, the implied warranty of fitness and the implied warranty against redhibitory defects provide remedies to a consumer based on the law of sales, not the law of torts.
What’s more, if a consumer can build a case for damages based on redhibition or fitness, they may not seek recovery for those damages under the LPLA. In fact, the language of the LPLA makes clear that “damage” includes damage to the product itself and economic loss arising from a deficiency in or loss of use of the product “only to the extent that…’redhibition’ does not allow recovery for such damage or economic loss.” La. R.S. 9:2800.53(5).
Essentially, the Louisiana Products Liability Act provides for recovery in tort, not sales. Further, the LPLA does not provide recovery for damage to a product, loss use of a product, or economic loss due to the purchase of a defective product when a consumer could recover those damages under the law of sales.