This article evaluates Washington’s products liability laws and their application in ways involving strict liability through the lens of Soproni v. Polygon Apartment Partners. Part I will also closely examine the WPLA, beginning with a discussion of the tort reform context in which it was enacted and the underlying economic reasons for its passage in 1981. This section will discuss how the WPLA ostensibly supplanted Washington common law on product liability, as well as what a careful reading of the statute seems to dictate for litigating product liability claims. The article then examines how the Soproni majority construed the statute and how the statute was constructed by Falk a decade earlier. The article finishes with an exploration of the consequences of the Soproni decision for window manufacturers doing business in Washington, particularly the "Catch 22" situation produced when manufacturers design to prevent liability to one class of plaintiffs (children) only to create liability to another class (the elderly).
Kenneth M. Roessler, Seller Beware: Tort Reform Is Missing in Action; Soproni, Falk, and the Entrenchment of Strict Products Liability in Washington, 24 SEATTLE U. L. REV. 989 (2001).