Cooper, Schall, & Levy discuss when you can take product liability claim against a responsible party.

Product Liability

Product manufacturers owe a duty to consumers to make their products safe for consumers. Failure to make and distribute a safe product opens them up to liability. Each year, thousands of people are injured due to dangerous consumer products. If you have been injured by a defective product, you may be able to bring a product liability claim against the responsible party. With a product liability claim you can seek to recover compensation for the injuries and other losses you may have sustained as a result of the product defect.

What Are the Different Types of Product Liability Claims?

There are a vast number and variety of products that can give rise to a product liability claim. Some of the more common products who have been found with defects that have caused injury to consumers include:

  • Household appliances
  • Drugs and prescription medication
  • Medical devices
  • Cars and other types of motor vehicles
  • Food
  • Power tools

As far as a legal basis for a product liability claim, there are three main types of claims that a victim may pursue. These include:

  • Defective manufacturing: Under a defective manufacturing claim of product liability, it is being asserted that, while the product may have been safely designed, some error in its manufacturing caused it to be unsafe. The defect caused by the manufacturing error must have been the direct cause of the injury.
  • Defective design: Under a defective design claim of product liability, it is being asserted that, even if the product was perfectly manufactured according to its design, it still would have been dangerous. This is because the product design itself was dangerously flawed. The defect in the product design must have been the direct cause of the injury.
  • Failure to provide appropriate warnings or instructions: This refers to things like proper product labeling, warnings, and instructions for product use. The consumer should be put on notice as to the proper way to safely use a product and any, reasonable, potential dangers that the product poses.

There are several options for a legal theory to base a product liability claim on. For instance,

  • Negligence: A party injured by a defective product must demonstrate that the product had one of the above-described defects and that it caused the injury. The claimant must also be prepared to demonstrate that the manufacturer failed to exercise reasonable care and this negligence was ultimately responsible for the claimant’s injury.
  • Strict liability: Under strict liability, the focus is on the product itself as opposed to a failure in the duty of care of the manufacturer. With strict liability, the injured party must show that the seller was engaged in selling the product and that the product was defective. Additionally, the claimant must show that the product was not substantially changed in its condition by the time it reached the consumer. Last, but not least, the claimant must show that his or her injury was caused due to the product defect.
  • Breach of warranty: The warranty that was breached may have been implied or explicitly. In either case, the injured party must show that the seller or manufacturer made a warranty and that the breach of that warranty was already in existence when the product left the seller or manufacturer’s control.

Product Liability Attorneys Fighting for the Injured

You have the right to purchase products without being in fear that a product defect may cause you serious injury. If you have been injured by a defective product, the experienced product liability attorneys at Cooper, Schall & Levy are here to hold the responsible parties accountable. Contact us today.