In both tort and criminal law, strict liability exists when a defendant is in legal jeopardy by virtue of an wrongful act, without any accompanying intent or mental state. In criminal law, possession crimes and statutory rape are both examples of strict liability offences.
In tort, there are two broad categories of activities for which a plaintiff may be held strictly liable - possession of certain animals and abnormally dangerous activities. Additionally, in the area of torts known as products liability, there is a sub-category known as strict products liability which applies when a defective product for which an appropriate defendant holds responsibility causes injury to an appropriate plaintiff.
Contrast with general intent and specific intent.
Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary
Automatic responsibility for damages due to manufacture or use of equipment or materials that are inherently dangerous, such as explosives, animals, poisonous snakes, or assault weapons. A person injured by such equipment or materials does not have to prove the manufacturer or operator was negligent in order to recover money damages.
Definition provided by Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary.
August 19, 2010, 5:25 pm