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Carmen buys a television set manufactured by AKI Electronics. She is going on vacation, so she takes the set to her mother's house for her mother to use. Because the set is defective, it explodes, causing considerable damage to her mother's house. Carmen's mother sues AKI for the damage to her house. Is the case for AKI's product liability grounded?

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Since the question states that the television set is defective, the case for AKI's product liability is clearly made out. The only issue is that there is no contract between Carmen's mother and the defendant. However, there are at least two other ways in which Carmen's mother can sue.

One is in tort, since the defendant's negligence in either manufacturing or design has clearly caused harm to her. The other is under statute. Product liability in the United States varies according to the state in which the suit is filed, but the facts in this case are not complex, and it appears that Carmen's mother would have a valid case in any US state.

Most states recognize manufacturing and design defects as solid grounds for an action even if the defendant was not negligent (or if negligence cannot be proven on the balance of probabilities). This means that a statutory action would probably be easier to win in most states than a common-law action in tort.

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