Product Liability: What You Should Know

Product liability is a doctrine that gives individuals cause of action or reason to pursue legal action if they have a defective consumer item. Keep reading to learn more.

What Is Product Liability?

It’s important to note that the following terms are crucial to any product liability case:

  • Negligence: The failure to abide by or maintain a standard or duty of care
  • Duty of Care: The specific responsibility an individual may have depending on their position
  • Liability: Legal responsibility
  • Strict Liability: The responsibility a person may have regardless of whether they intended to do wrong or knew that wrongdoing occurred under their watch
  • Tort: An act or omission that leads to injury or harm that may incur liability

When a consumer encounters a defective item, the situation may fall under negligence or strict liability which means the manufacturer can be held liable for the product regardless of their intent or knowledge of the issues.

Product liability may apply to any consumer product from children’s toys and baby formula to skincare and heavy machinery. For example, if a children’s toy has small pieces is not labeled with a warning of small pieces and a child chokes on one of the pieces, it could be an issue of product liability.

Categories of Product Liability

In general, there are three categories of product liability including:

  • Design defects: The design of a product is unsafe and there were better, proven, alternatives
  • Manufacturing defects: At some point during the manufacturing process, the product was made incorrectly creating a hazard
  • Marketing defects: The marketing and branding on a product does not include a crucial warning of product risks
  • Breach of Warranty: The product breaches a warranty; the warranty may be implied or explicit

Product Liability Claims

When filing a product liability, it is crucial that consumers provide evidentiary support to prove a direct correlation between the product and an injury or risk. It should also be made clear that injuries did not occur because of user error. In other words, if a product has sufficient warnings and is made correctly but the consumer uses it incorrectly, they may not have a product liability case.

If you believe you have a product liability case, contact the Law Offices of Wax & Wax.