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What is Product Liability?
GKBM Law

What is Product Liability?

People are injured just about every day by dangerously defective products. Some products have even killed users. Product liability law involves holding the manufacturer and others in the stream of commerce liable for the injuries and deaths of consumers that are caused by dangerously defective products.

Who can be held liable?

After a product is manufactured by a business, it’s usually bought by at least one other business, and then the product ultimately ends up in the hands of the consumer. That’s the chain of distribution. Liability for placing dangerously defective products into the hands of a consumer can be attributable to:

  • The manufacturer
  • An independent manufacturer of a component part
  • The product’s assembler
  • The installer of a product
  • The wholesaler or distributor of the product
  • The retailer store that the product to the ultimate consumer

What makes a product dangerously defective

To prevail in a product liability lawsuit, a person who believes that his or her injuries were caused by a dangerously defective product must show that there were at least one of three types of defects in the product. Those are:

  • Design defects
  • Manufacturing defects
  • Marketing defects

Design defects

These occur on the drawing board. When there’s a design defect, every item in the product line will have the same dangerous defect, even when they’re perfectly manufactured to rigorous specifications. Every item in the product line is inherently unsafe. Think of a motor vehicle with a poorly positioned gas tank that’s unprotected.

Manufacturing defects

A manufacturer or assembler can make 100,000 items of a product line perfectly. As opposed to a design defect, only one of those items might contain an unsafe manufacturing defect like a loose wire that could cause a product to shock a user, catch fire or even explode. These defects usually arise at the plant.

Marketing defects

Errors or omissions might occur in the way that a product is marketed. These ordinarily occur in labeling, instructions for users or safety warnings like on the instruction sheet for the blood thinner called Xarelto. It’s claimed that even when used properly, Xarelto might cause people to bleed to death.

Strict liability

Nearly all injury cases involve the law of negligence, but product liability law allows claimants to use the law of strict liability. Under the law of strict liability, it’s irrelevant what precautions a manufacturer took when it made a consumer product. You must be able to prove that:

  • There was a design, manufacturing or marketing defect
  • It caused an injury when the product was used in the way that it was intended to be used
  • The victim didn’t make any substantial changes in the condition of the product

We hold companies who make their products available to the public accountable. If you were injured by a product while using it for its intended purposes, you might be entitled to compensation for your damages.

Product liability cases involve highly complex litigation, but we’ve taken on some of the largest companies in the country and still prevailed. Not only might you be entitled to damages, but you can help keep products safe for other users too. Contact us for a free product liability case consultation and evaluation by calling (901) 466-2006. It’s important that you try to preserve any evidence that you have regarding the product. Call us as soon as possible after your injury.

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