A question of liability

IN a case that has important implications in the automobile world, the California Supreme Court this week ruled that a firearms manufacturing company cannot be held legally responsible for the use of the weapons it produces. The decision went five to one against the claim which derived from a shooting incident in 1993 in the city in which nine people were killed.

This does not mean that manufacturers cannot be sued for faulty machinery or negligence but it does mean that the fact that they created something that can cause harm is not a punishable offence in its own right.

The precedent has implications both in the automobile and motor racing worlds and comes from a Californian court which in the past have often been responsible for bizarre legal decisions with serious implications.

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