Product Liability

Product- What you need to know

Once the product is already in the marketplace, there’s an expectation that the item is free of defect and safe to use. However, in some cases, compounds, devices, and systems are insufficiently tested. Product liability is an area of the law that deals with problems once the product Is in the marketplace and some harm is done.

Understanding Product Liability Lawsuits

Product liability involves wrongful action and hazards toward the everyday user, explicitly done by producers and manufacturers. There are no federal product liability laws. The lawsuits are based on state laws that deal with strict liability, negligence or breach of warranty.  State commercial statutes can be applied in product liability cases.

Liability for an injury caused by a product does not apply to the manufacturer of the product. The production chain(distribution of the product) can be helped liable, such as the manufacturer of parts of the product, the company that installs or assembles the product, as well as retail outlets. It depends on the distribution chain type and the product. This standard applies to anyone who is involved in producing the product in the ordinary course of business.

Types of Defects

These are three basic types of defects that may be involved in a liability case:

  •    Design defects- this problem occurs when there are errors in the final design of a product that should have been changed in the initial steps of creating it
  •    Manufacturing defects- This condition occurs during the manufacturing or assembly process
  •    Marketing defects- Insufficient safety warnings, improper labeling or inadequate instructions may have caused an injury or death.

Determining responsibility for the Injury

There is a legal doctrine “Res ipsa loquitur” which means “the thing speaks for itself,” meaning that the product would not have caused an injury except for the actions of the user. Manufactures is often required to defend itself against a liability claim, but attorneys can also turn responsibility onto the plaintiff in the case. That means in this case that the plaintiff is required to defend his or her actions in the product incident.

Breach of Warranty

A warranty is either “express” or “implied” and is used to denote promises made by the manufacturer. Express warranties include wording used in marketing, packaging or instructional materials included with the product. An implied warranty is used to denote the reasonable expectations of an individual purchasing the product.

Negligence

It can imply failure of action in design, the composition of elements(materials) the manufacturing process, in testing or in communication regarding its safe use. Any aspect that affects the product’s safety can be considered negligence.

Requirements for a Product Liability Lawsuit

These are specific actions that can affect the outcome for the injured party. To file successful product liability, you need :

  •    Stop using the product immediately
  •    Save the product
  •    Consult a physician and give information about the product that causes it
  •    Retain all packing supplied with the product
  •    Gather witnesses
  •     Research your state’s statute of limitations on product liability cases and other requirements
  •    Consult with an experienced attorney