The general trend over the past century of more and larger recoveries in actions against manufacturers has not bypassed the agricultural sector. Indeed, some of the larger and more visible verdicts have involved agricultural products.
The feature that has drawn the most attention to manufacturers' liability has been the issue of punitive damages. Proposals at the federal level to limit punitive damages have been unsuccessful to date but further attempts are likely to be made in the 104th Congress to enact legislation curbing such damages.
The debate over allowing punitive damages contrasts sharply with the law of product liability prior to the Twentieth Century.