Products Liability Claims: Important Things You Need to Know
Product liability refers to the legal liability responsibility of everybody involved in the manufacturing chain of a specific product, which caused injury or damage from using it. Potentially liable individuals include the parts manufacturer, assembly manufacturers, retailers, and wholesalers.
Defining Products Liability
Products liability cases could stem from claims of negligence, breach of warranty, or strict liability, which depends on the specific jurisdiction the claim is based on. The majority of states have already legislated exhaustive laws, but since these statutes could be diverse and complex, the U.S. Department of Commerce also proclaimed a Model Uniform Products Liability Act (MUPLA) that all states could refer to. Do note however that there’s no federal law for products liability.
Regardless where the claim was filed, personal injury attorneys in Springfield, Illinois say that the claimant should prove beyond unreasonable doubt the product’s defectiveness.
Product defects come in three types: manufacturing defects, design defects, and marketing defects.
- Design defects are inherent since they exist prior to manufacturing the product. Although the product might function well, it could be potentially harmful to use because of a flaw in its design.
- Manufacturing defects happen while the product is in production or manufacturing. In this case, only one or a select number of items of the same kind might have flaws.
- Marketing defects deal with inaccurate instructions and failing to warn buyers of potential dangers when using the product.
In general, this type of claim is deemed as a strict liability claim since this doesn’t depend on the defendant’s degree of judiciousness or carefulness. This means that defendants are liable when there’s clear proof of the product’s defectiveness and that defect resulted into damage or injury to a claimant.
The subjects of such claims are products that contain inherent defects or flaws that cause injury or damage to a product consumer, or another individual who received or loaned the product. Although products are considered personal property, the law has expanded the definition to also include naturals (pets), intangibles (gas), writing (navigational charts), and real estate (houses).
Product liability laws are complex and vary from one state to another. Not only that, establishing or repudiating liability requires help from relevant industry experts. If you’re facing a claim for products liability, your best recourse would be to consult a personal injury lawyer with experience in similar cases to help make sure that you get the most favorable results possible.