When we use a consumer product, we believe that its designers, manufacturers, and distributors have made sure the product is safe. Unfortunately, manufacturing flaws and other problems can result in consumer product-related injuries. While no product is completely safe, parties in the production and distribution “chain” have a duty to convey to consumers all possible risks associated with their product. If a responsible party fails to make a safe product and convey possible risks to consumers, they can be held culpable in a product liability lawsuit.
Approximately one-half of all emergency room visits are made by consumers who have been injured by a consumer product. A variety of products can cause consumer injuries, including medical devices, pharmaceutical drugs, toxic materials, industrial products, food, drinks, tobacco, baby products, airplanes, automobiles, and much more.
Any party in the production or distribution “chain” can be held liable in a product liability lawsuit. This includes the product’s designer, maker, wholesaler, distributor, retailer, or repairer. There are three main legal arguments used in product liability cases to establish culpability for a consumer’s product injury-related losses and suffering. These are negligence, breech of contract, and strict liability.
Under negligence, a party can be held responsible for consumer product injuries if they failed to do fulfill a duty in the making or marketing of the product. Under breech of warranty, the injured consumer may argue the manufacturer violated some explicit or implicit agreement with the consumer. In the case of strict liability, the injured consumer only has to show that the product was the proximate cause of their injuries. Even if the maker took every precaution to ensure their product was safe, they can still be held responsible under strict liability.
In most product liability cases, the injured party must show that the product was reasonably dangerous or somehow failed to meet consumer expectations. To deem a product reasonably dangerous, its risks typically must outweigh its intended benefits. When a product is more of a risk than a benefit to consumers, it can be considered defective.
If a defective product has seriously injured you or someone you love, you may be eligible to seek compensation for your losses and suffering in a product liability lawsuit. Please contact a qualified product liability attorney to help protect your interests in a product liability case.