Understanding Product Liability
Product liability is an area of U.S. law under which manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, and retailers can be held responsible and financially accountable for any faulty or defective products they release to the public. This area of the law covers individuals who may be injured by these defective products so that they will not have to pay for their injuries out of their own pockets.
Claims Associated with Product Liability
There are a number of different claims associated with product liability. The most well known are claims of negligence and strict liability.
Each of these claims has different requirements that must be met in order to prove guilt on the part of the manufacturer, seller, distributor, or retailer. Usually, a products liability claim is based on one of the following:
- A design defect
- A manufacturing defect
- A failure to warn consumers (of some danger)
Interestingly, claims (especially based on a failure to warn) can succeed even if the consumer uses the product incorrectly as long as the incorrect usage could have been foreseen by the manufacturer or other party.
Product Liability: Strict Liability vs. Negligence
Most product liability cases are not based on issues of negligence, but rather, on something known as strict liability. To understand the difference between these two, let’s first examine the qualities of negligence.
In order to prove negligence, one must show that:
- There was some duty owed by the manufacturer (or other party)
- There was a breach of this duty
- An injury occurred
- The injury was directly caused by the breach mentioned above
Thus, a manufacturer or other party who failed to perform their job appropriately will be held responsible for any defective products that resulted from the oversight.
However, as mentioned above, most product liability claims are not based on negligence but on strict liability. What this means is that the manufacturer (or other party) is held responsible for defective or faulty products even if they did not act in a negligent manner. This way, a consumer can recover damages for an injury even if unable to prove that there was a preventable error in the manufacturing process.
Contact TSR Injury Law Today
If you have been injured by a defective or faulty product, contact the Minneapolis defective product lawyers of TSR Injury Law today at (612) TSR-TIME to discuss your legal rights and options or submit our contact form.