Third Circuit Weighs In On Strict Products Liability for Artificial Intelligence

By Matthew Decker

In Rodgers v. Christie, a recent non-precedential decision, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit examined whether traditional strict products liability doctrines apply to artificial intelligence-based software. 2020 WL 1079233 (3d Cir. Mar. 6, 2020). There, plaintiffs asserted claims under the New Jersey Products Liability Act (“PLA”), arising from the State’s Public Safety Assessment (“PSA”). Id. at *1. The PSA is a “data-based” risk assessment algorithm which provides quantitative scores and a “decision-making framework” to assist courts in “assess[ing] the risk that [a] criminal defendant will fail to appear for future court appearances or commit additional crimes and/or violent crimes if released.” See Roders v. Laura and John Arnold Foundation, 2019 WL 2429574, at *1 (D.N.J. June 11, 2019), aff’d sub nom. Roders v. Christie, 2020 WL 1079233. Plaintiffs’ strict products liability claims put the PSA at issue, claiming the algorithm had assigned an erroneously low score to a convicted felon, who allegedly murdered their son three days after he was released from detention on non-monetary conditions. 2020 WL 1079233, at *1. Continue reading “Third Circuit Weighs In On Strict Products Liability for Artificial Intelligence”