In recent years a flood of federally-funded scientific break-throughs have on almost a weekly basis established that some form of cancer or other dreaded disease is "caused" by exposure to a man-made product often not previously suspected of having a toxic tendency. Persons so afflicted then seek recovery from the product manufacturer. Their basis in tort is either for negligence in producing so harmful (and thus defective) a product, or for having failed to warn of the danger, or for "strict liability" within Section 402A of the Restatement (Second) of Torts. Where, as in Virginia, there is uncertainty as to the acceptance of Section 402A as a matter of state law, an alternative basis is under the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) for breach of the implied warranty of merchantibility as to the fitness of the product for ordinary purposes.
Robert I. Stevenson,
Products Liability and the Virginia Statute of Limitations - A Call for the Legislative Rescue Squad,
U. Rich. L. Rev.
Available at: http://scholarship.richmond.edu/lawreview/vol16/iss2/4