What is product liability? – Supply Chain Game Changer™

Product liability is a legal term that describes the responsibilities of the manufacturer, distributor and seller. This includes what can happen if a buyer is hurt by a defective product. Manufacturers are required by law to comply with certain standards.

Under the Product Liability Act, buyers have legal protection against products deemed unreasonably dangerous. This includes products that are designed in such a way that hazards are not readily apparent. Manufacturers are also responsible for testing and inspecting the products they manufacture. Sellers are also responsible for conducting appropriate inspections of the items they intend to sell.

Product liability attorneys can help you determine if a manufacturer, distributor or seller has breached their legal duty of care. Read on for more information about the specifics of product liability law and how it differs from your typical personal injury claim.

Product Liability Claims

Product liability refers to the liability of the parts manufacturer, an assembly manufacturer, the wholesaler and the retail store owner. Products with inherent defects that cause harm to a product user could be the subject of a product liability lawsuit.

Products are tangible personal property as well as intangible goods, natural goods, real estate and writings. Product liability derives from tort law because it is based on negligence, strict liability or breach of warranty.

Product liability claims are based on the concepts of:

Types of Liability Defects

Manufacturers, dealers and suppliers can be held liable for the following product defects:

design flaw

Design flaws are inherent because they exist before the product is even made. Companies can be held liable if their products are poorly designed. In principle, the burden of proof for the existence of a design defect lies with the plaintiff.

manufacturing defect

Manufacturing defects occur due to design or production errors. A manufacturing defect is an unintentional defect in a product. When manufacturing defects occur and a product deviates from its intended design, it can become dangerous.

The manufacturing defect must have caused your resulting injury. If you injured yourself as a result of your mistakes, you only have a manufacturing defect claim if you can show that the manufacturing defect and not your faulty behavior caused your accident.

marketing mistake

Deficiencies in marketing are caused by improper instructions. If product manufacturers do not warn consumers about latent dangers in their products, they can be held liable.

Understanding each category can help you decide if you have a valid claim, as well as the strategy you should use when presenting your case.

Strict Liability

Product liability is generally regarded as a dangerous crime. In civil law, strict liability makes those legally responsible for the consequences caused by activity. It is strict because these people are held liable even through no fault of their own or criminal intent.

Product Liability Act

If someone is injured due to a product defect, these claims are based on state laws, which may vary. There are no federal product liability laws. The laws of each state differ as follows:

  • limitation periods
  • liability standards
  • damage caps
  • Innocent Sellers Act
  • Joint Liability Claims

Proof of product liability

Courts generally use one of the following two tests to determine whether a defendant is liable for a product defect:

risk utility

If a defendant proves that the product’s benefits outweigh the inherent risk of harm, courts can determine that the defendant is not liable for a design defect.

Expectation Analysis

If a reasonable consumer would not find the product defective under reasonable use, the defendant may not be liable for the damage caused. This may apply even if the product’s design flaw results in an injury.

duty to warn

Businesses can also be held liable for failing to properly warn their consumers. Warning labels must inform consumers about the dangers, risks, effects of the hazard and ways to avoid the hazard. These warnings should be prominently displayed and color coded accordingly.

proof of liability

Each of the parties involved in the distribution chain can be held liable. Defects can include design flaws that existed before the manufacturing process began and those that arose during the actual manufacturing process or marketing.

If you are unsure about proving liability in your claim, you may need the assistance of a professional product liability attorney.

Product Liability Attorney

If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of a defective product, it may help to contact an attorney. However, not just any lawyer. Finding an experienced product liability attorney in your state is important. This person must have received a specific type of assault training.

Your product liability attorney can discuss the details of your case and answer any of your burning questions. Product liability law specialists know that it is crucial to have an attorney with extensive experience and the required niche knowledge to represent you.

Article and permission to publish here provided by Anna Larina. Originally written for Supply Chain Game Changer and published on April 4th, 2022.

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