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What is Product Liability?

Product liability

Product liability refers to the area of tort law that determines who will be held responsible when someone is injured after using a product. If a product has injured you or a family member, you need to get familiar with the basics of this type of law before you initiate a product liability lawsuit with the help of a lawyer. Here are the facts to know.

Who Is Responsible When a Product Injures Someone?

A product liability lawsuit can involve a variety of parties, with the manufacturer of the product being just one. In fact, many product liability cases name the wholesaler or owner of the retail store as the responsible party. Your product liability lawyer can help you determine who is responsible.

One detail to note is that the requirement of privity of contract no longer applies. This means that you do not have to prove that you purchased the product from the manufacturer before you initiate a product liability lawsuit. Even if you borrowed the product from someone, you may still have a case.

Common Types of Defects

There are three types of product defects that your case might involve:

  • Manufacturing Defect: This means the manufacturing process created a defect in the product, so it was put together incorrectly.
  • Design Defect: This means the item was poorly designed, causing it to be dangerous.
  • Marketing Defect: This refers to the fact that the product did not include the proper instructions or warning labels to promote safe use.

What Are Unavoidably Unsafe Products?

Some products are inherently dangerous and are therefore considered unavoidably unsafe. Common examples include:

  • Knives
  • Drain cleaners
  • Firearms
  • Prescription drugs

Manufacturers cannot usually change the design of such products to make them safe without making them ineffective. However, they can reduce risk by including warning labels that detail the dangers of the product so consumers can handle with care. If you were injured by a product that did not have sufficient warning labels, you might have a product liability lawsuit.

Frequent Defenses to Product Liability Cases

It’s helpful to know the most common defenses that lawyers use in product liability lawsuits. They include:

  • Misuse: The consumer did not use the product as intended and got injured as a result.
  • Modification: The consumer modified the product after purchase, making it unsafe.
  • Assumption of the Risk: The consumer knew the risks of the product and still used it in a way that resulted in injury.
  • Statute of Limitations: The consumer filed the lawsuit too late.

Now that you know the basics of this type of law, it’s time to contact a product liability lawyer to find out if you have a case. Call us today to schedule a consultation!

Last modified on October 2, 2016. Published by Friedman, Domiano & Smith Co., L.P.A.

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