Consumer-Contemplation Test Law and Legal Definition

Consumer contemplation test is the method of imposing product liability on a manufacturer, if it is shown with evidence that a product’s danger is higher than what a reasonable consumer would expect. Initially, it was the only standard authorized for determining whether a product was unreasonably dangerous. Critics considered the test to be too restrictive on manufacturers' liability. The risk-utility test is a test similar to the consumer-contemplation test.

The court the consumer contemplation test separates defective products from the universe of ordinary products which may be involved in causing injury. Under the test, a product is only considered defective or unreasonably dangerous if it fails to perform in a manner the ordinary consumer would expect. [Austin v. Will-Burt Co., 361 F.3d 862, 873 (5th Cir. 2004)]. It is also known as consumer-expectation test or consumer-user-contemplation tests.