a. The Legislature finds that there is an urgent need for remedial legislation to establish clear rules with respect to certain matters relating to actions for damages for harm caused by products, including certain principles under which liability is imposed and the standards and procedures for the award of punitive damages. This act is not intended to codify all issues relating to product liability, but only to deal with matters that require clarification. The Legislature further finds that such sponsors' or committee statements that may be adopted or included in the legislative history of this act shall be consulted in the interpretation and construction of this act.
b. As used in this act:
(1) “Claimant” means any person who brings a product liability action, and if such an action is brought through or on behalf of an estate, the term includes the person's decedent, or if an action is brought through or on behalf of a minor, the term includes the person's parent or guardian.
(2) “Harm” means (a) physical damage to property, other than to the product itself; (b) personal physical illness, injury or death; (c) pain and suffering, mental anguish or emotional harm; and (d) any loss of consortium or services or other loss deriving from any type of harm described in subparagraphs (a) through (c) of this paragraph.
(3) “Product liability action” means any claim or action brought by a claimant for harm caused by a product, irrespective of the theory underlying the claim, except actions for harm caused by breach of an express warranty.
(4) “Environmental tort action” means a civil action seeking damages for harm where the cause of the harm is exposure to toxic chemicals or substances, but does not mean actions involving drugs or products intended for personal consumption or use.
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