In my opinion Wood would most likely win the law suit against either the peanut or the jar manufacturer on the basis of strict liability or negligence, which allows a person injured by an unreasonably dangerous product to recover damages from the manufacturer or seller of the product even in the absence of a contract or negligent conduct on the part of the manufacturer or seller (Bagley, 2013). Therefore, Wood should recover damages even if the seller exercised all possible care in the manufacture and sale of the product, because the defect in the product is the basis for liability (Bagley, 2013).
Negligence claims could also be used in the attempt of recovery for damages, because there should have been practices put in place to ensure product safety. Negligence is considered any conduct that involves an unreasonably great risk of causing injury to another person or damage to property that requires all people to take appropriate care in any given situation (Bagley, 2013). Although it may not have been an intentional act of negligence the manufacturer had a duty to make sure that the products that they produce are safe for consumer use. The manufacturer should have taken reasonable measures to conduct product safety tests to determine the safety of the product before distributing it. I feel that extra precautions and tests should be done to ensure safety when manufacturing any products that will be used in food production or storage to make sure that there are no product defects.
There are defenses that the manufacturers can use, which include showing that there is no basis for the claim based on product liability, the use of comparative negligence and liability, and unforeseeability of intentional injury using state of the art defense or preemption defense (Bagley, 2013). The state of the art defense shields a manufacturer from liability for a defective design if no safer product design is generally recognized as being possible (Bagley, 2013). The defense can state that there is no basis for the claim using state of the art defense, because the defendant should have been more cautious when closing the jar and should have used the same methods as he had used previously each time he had closed the jar, which could have prevented his injury on the basis that the safest design was used. Comparative negligence is also known as comparative fault, which can reduce the plaintiff 's damages depending on the degree to which his or her own negligence contributed to the injury (Bagley, 2013). Preemption defense is used in cases of product liability, because there are certain federal laws and regulations that set minimum safety standards are held to preempt state-law product liability claims, therefore this defense is used as an attempt to eliminate the possibility of state-law product liability claims in any sphere governed by federal safety law and regulation (Bagley, 2013).
Ultimately it is the responsibility of the manufacturer, because manufactures are held strictly liable for its defective products regardless of how remote the manufacturer is from the final user of the product even when the distributor makes final inspections, corrections, and adjustments of the product (Bagley, 2013).
Bagley, C. (2013). Managers and the Legal Environment: Strategies for the 21st (7th ed). South-Western. Retrieved from http://digitalbookshelf.southuniversity.edu/books/9781285404837/id.