September 24, 2017

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Product Liability

When you are injured by an item, the manufacturer, seller and others may be liable to you for the damages caused by that product. A Product Liability Attorney can help you with your claim. View qualified Product Law Firms or Products Liability Law Firms in your area to find Product Liability Lawyers.

Types of Defects

Generally, there are three types of product liability claims, based upon the kind of defect:

  • Marketing or failure to warn – even if the product has no defect, if the consumer is not given sufficient information on how to properly use it, there may be liability.
  • Design – even if the manufacturer made the product perfectly, because the original idea was defective, there may be liability.
  • Manufacturing – if the producer of the product failed to properly execute the design, it may be liable for any harm that results.

Types of Suits

Depending on the nature of the defect, a plaintiff may make any or all of the following claims in their suit:

  • Strict liability – where the manufacturer is liable for all damages due to the defect, even if it was careful in making the product. For example, a manufacturer of a product that contains asbestos may be strictly liable.
  • Negligence – where the injured person has to demonstrate that the manufacturer or seller was not sufficiently careful in making or selling the defective product. For example, if you are injured by the use of a tool, like a chainsaw, you will typically have to demonstrate that someone in the supply chain was negligent, either in the design, manufacture, or failure to warn.
  • Breach of warranty – where the plaintiff must show that the manufacturer, seller, supplier or distributor made a promise that it failed to meet. An express warranty is a stated promise about the qualities and appropriate uses of the product; an example is “suitable for children.” An implied warranty arises because of the qualities inherent in the product because of its nature; an example would be that the head of a hammer will not fly off when you hit a nail.
  • Lemon laws and consumer protection laws – unlike other products liability claims, “lemon laws” allow consumers to recover for defects that inhibit or prevent the use of the product, but cause neither physical damage or personal injury. An example of recovery for this purely economic loss would be the state laws requiring compensation for the purchase of autos that continually fail to perform as they should.

Even if a plaintiff used the product improperly, there may be liability if the manufacturer, retailer, suppliers, or others could have foreseen such a misuse but failed to take steps to stop it.

Related areas:

Personal Injury, Litigation, Consumer Law