What is Product Liability?
Product manufacturers, designers, producers, distributors and sellers have a duty to ensure that the products they provide are safe. One or more of these parties in the “chain of distribution” may be held liable for any injury caused by a defective product. Product liability is based on the principle that all consumers have a basic right to safe and effective products. Therefore, victims who have been injured by defective products may be entitled to financial compensation pain, suffering and other damages.
Common Product Liability Claims
Dangerous and defective products can cause serious, and sometimes life-threatening, injuries. The four most common product liability claims are:
- Strict liability
- Breach of warranty
- Consumer protection claims
Negligence claims are among the most common product liability claims made and are based on five general points:
- A duty was owed;
- There was a breach of that duty;
- The breach was the actual cause of the plaintiff’s injury;
- The breach proximately caused, or was sufficiently related to, the injury.
- The plaintiff suffered quantifiable damages.
Unlike negligence claims, strict liability claims do not focus on the negligent behavior of the manufacturer. Strict liability claims focus on the product itself. Under strict liability, a seller of a product is liable without fault for injuries caused by the product if the product is sold in a defective condition. Once a defect is shown to have existed, the seller is liable even if there was no negligence. Strict liability claims can be quite complicated. Contact us to learn more.
Breach of Warranty
Warranties are essentially statements that are made by the product manufacturer or seller that describe certain qualities of the product. There are two types of warranties, “express” warranties and “implied” warranties.
An express warranty is a statement in which the seller expressly represents that the product has certain qualities. If the product turns out not to have these qualities, the purchaser of the product may sue for this breach of the seller’s express warranty.
An implied warranty is a warranty that can be implied from the fact that the seller has offered the product for sale. There are many types of implied warranties, including the warranty of merchantability and the warranty that the product is fit for a particular purpose.
Consumer Protection Claims
Many states have consumer protection laws which are designed to prevent unfair and deceptive trade practices. The penalties for violating these laws are severe. Under these consumer protection laws, product sellers who use unfair and deceptive trade practices could be forced to pay:
- Triple the amount damages
- A set amount per violation
- Attorney’s fees
- Punitive damages
- And an injunction against the use of unlawful trade practices.
If you think you’ve been the victim of an unfair trade practice, it is important to contact a lawyer immediately. The remedies available vary widely by jurisdiction.
Types of Product Defects
Under any theories of liability listed above, a plaintiff must show that the product that caused injury was defective, and that the defect made the product unreasonably dangerous. There are three types of defects:
- Manufacturing defects – Defects that are created during the assembly or manufacture of a product.
- Design defects – Defects that occur as a result of a poor or untested design. Design defects render every iteration of a product defective, no matter how carefully it is made.
- Marketing defects (failure to warn) – defects in the way that a seller markets a product, such as insufficient safety warnings, inaccurate labeling, or inadequate instructions.
Common Product Liability Claims
We rely on products in every area of our life. We must be able to rely on manufacturers and sellers to provide safe products that work as advertised. If a product fails to meet this standard, one or more of the companies in the chain of distribution can be held liable for the resulting injuries. Statesman Law Group represents clients in all types of product liability cases, including injuries caused by:
- Household products
- Drugs and medical devices
- Consumer products including food, clothing, toiletries.
- Children’s toys
- Construction equipment
- Exercise equipment
We also handle product liability cases involving automobiles and vehicle parts, including:
- Defective tires
- Defective airbags
- Defective seat belts
- SUV rollovers
- Defective components
- Defective motorcycles
- Defective helmets
- Defective All-terrain vehicles (ATVs)
- Defective Personal watercraft and jet-skis
Common Product Liability Claims – Faulty Construction Materials
Finally, we serve clients injured by products related to construction, including:
- Construction equipment and machinery
- Ladders and scaffolds
- Safety equipment
How Statesman Law Group Can Help
Product makers have a duty to provide safe products. If there are risks of harm associated with their products, they also must provide adequate warnings. If you’ve been injured by a dangerous or defective product, contact Statesman Law Group today. You may be eligible to recover money for:
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Expenses related to the death of a family member
At Statesman Law Group, we work on a contingency fee basis, which means that we don’t get paid unless we win your case. Our sole concern is to maximize the compensation you receive for your injury.