Under product liability law, manufacturers and distributors of “dangerous or defective” products are responsible for the injuries those products cause. Injured parties can seek compensation through personal injury lawsuits. Product liability suits can be filed against anyone along a product’s supply chain including the designer, manufacturer, wholesaler, marketer and retailer. These cases are often class action suits.
Theories of Product Liability
There are three theories that form the basis of a product liability claim. They include:
- Negligence – The plaintiff must prove that those responsible for putting the product into commerce either knew of or reasonably should have known of the product’s defect and failed to meet its obligation to protect the consumer.
- Strict Liability – Manufacturers and distributors are held responsible for injuries caused by their products regardless of whether they acted negligently. There are certain conditions that govern when strict liability can be claimed.
- Breach of Warranty – The plaintiff must prove that the manufacturer or distributor violated a written or implied warranty guaranteeing a product free from defects.
In all three theories, the plaintiff must show that the defects in the product caused the injuries in question. A knowledgeable attorney can help you determine what theory is most appropriate for your product liability claim.
Types of Product Liability Defects
There are three types of defects that may be claimed in a product liability case. These include:
- Design Defects – Alleges that design mistakes render a product dangerous when used as intended or for another foreseeable purpose.
- Manufacturing Defects – Alleges mistakes in the manufacturing process that make a product dangerous.
- Marketing Defects – Alleges a product was not properly labeled with instructions or warnings to ensure safe usage.
Product liability lawsuits can be brought against virtually any product. Some common suits involve motor vehicles, toys and children’s products, testosterone replacment therapy, talcum powder and other personal hygiene products, faulty machinery, tools, and food products. Additionally, unsafe pharmaceuticals often face product liability claims.
If you believe you have a product liability claim, contact us at Ankin Law Office to discuss your case. Our attorneys are skilled in handling all types of product liability claims and navigating this complex area of the law.