Each year, thousands of injuries (and sometimes deaths) result from product defects in the United States. Companies that manufacture and distribute products have a responsibility to ensure safe, effective products are produced and sold to their customers.
Unfortunately, there are still companies that demonstrate negligence with their product design, manufacturing process and/or marketing and instruction information. This results in product liability.
Product liability law outlines legal rules that help determine who is responsible for defective and dangerous products, and how much they are responsible for paying each injured person affected by those products.
Defective Products and Determining Who Is at Fault
In order for there to be a legitimate product liability, the product must have been publicly available for sale at some point in the marketplace. The injured person(s) does not have to be the purchaser of the product to receive compensation for their injuries, just so long as the product was actually sold to someone.
Determining liability for a defective product could fall on any of the following parties within the product’s line of distribution, including:
- The manufacturer
- The wholesaler
- The manufacturer of the component parts of the product
- The party responsible for assembling and/or installing the product
- The retail store that sold the product
In order for there to be strict liability on any given party, the product must be sold at that party’s business. Therefore, a product sold on an online buying-and-selling site (like Craigslist or OfferUp), at a garage sale, a flea market or other similar fashion would not be applicable for strict liability.
Visit the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission Recall List for the latest information on product recalls to help you and your loved ones prevent a major injury as much as possible.
Product Liability and Common Defenses to Claims
Although it may seem like there is very clear liability from the injured person’s (plaintiff’s) perspective, there can often be a defense raised that the individual has not adequately proven that the supplier of the defective product was the party responsible for an injury. In order to prove liability, the plaintiff has to be able to show that the defective product is directly associated with the party or parties responsible for producing or supplying it.
A manufacturer may also counter the claim by suggesting the plaintiff significantly manipulated or misused the product once it left their care—that being the reason for the plaintiff’s injury.
Learn more about product liability and see examples of defective products to help you understand common product defects.
How a Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
If you or a loved one have experienced a personal injury and you believe it was due to a defective product, our personal injury attorneys are here to help. At Cohen and Cohen Law, we understand the importance of guiding you every step of the way, explaining what the process is, what to expect, what to do after the injury and much more.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with us today.