April 14, 2024

Obligate Law

Professional Law Makers

Issues In Product Liability

2 min read
Issues In Product Liability

Product liability cases are a subset of personal injury law dealing with the design, manufacture, distribution, and sale of goods or services. They may involve claims against a number of companies or business entities, including retailers, marketers, and manufacturers. Like many other areas of legal expertise, product liability is a discipline which carries its own complex set of rules, regulations, precedents, and legal doctrines.

Determining Fault

Unlike many other personal injury cases, in which frequently only one individual or company is held responsible or liable for damages caused, product liability claims must often target a long chain of businesses. This is because any given product must pass through a multitude of manufacturers, distributors, and retailers before it comes into the hands of consumers. Any or all of these companies may have contributed, caused, or failed to warn about dangers or defects in the product. An accurate product liability claim must be able to trace this path of liability through many levels of the production process and determine who, if anyone, is directly and legally responsible for the plaintiff’s injuries.

Negligence vs. Strict Liability

A standard of negligence in product liability requires proof of three items – a) that a person or organization knew or should have known of a flaw or danger associated with a product, b) that the person or organization failed to repair or warn of the flaw or danger, and c) that the flaw or danger was the direct cause of the plaintiff’s injuries.

Proving negligence is often a highly complex and tedious process. However, the good news is that many product liability cases are based on the much simpler doctrine of strict liability. This doctrine holds that a manufacturer is liable for any and all injuries caused by its products, whether or not it was negligent in producing them.

Breach of Warranty

A warranty is a sort of assurance or guarantee that a product will perform as advertised. It can be an express warranty (that is, a standardized warranty documented in writing), or an implied warranty (one which could reasonably be thought to exist from the nature of a sale). Violation of these warranties by a product which does not work as intended may be grounds for a product liability suit.

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