Product Liability
FAQ

WHAT DOES THE TERM “PRODUCT LIABILITY” MEAN?

Product liability refers to a manufacturer or seller being held liable for placing a defective product in the hands of a consumer. Potentially liable parties include the manufacturer, a manufacturer of component parts, the wholesaler, and the retail store that sold to the end consumer.

WHAT OPTIONS ARE AVAILABLE TO SOMEONE WHO HAS BEEN INJURED BY A PRODUCT?

A person injured by a defective or dangerous product may be able to bring an action for product liability, and recover damages under one of the following theories: strict product liability; negligence; or implied warranty.

WHAT IS STRICT PRODUCT LIABILITY?

Strict product liability refers to one of the theories under which a plaintiff can proceed when bringing action based upon an injury caused by a product. In a strict product liability action, a plaintiff can recover damages without showing that the manufacturer or seller of a product was negligent.

WHAT ARE IMPLIED WARRANTIES?

Implied warranties are established by state law. Implied warranties include the “warranty of merchantability.” These warranties state that a product will be fit and safe for its intended purpose.

CAN I BRING A PRODUCT LIABILITY ACTION IF I WAS INJURED BY A PRODUCT I BORROWED FROM MY NEIGHBOR AND DID NOT PAY FOR MYSELF?

A contractual relationship, known as “privacy of contract,” had to exist between the person by a product and the supplier of the product in order for the injured person to recover. In most states, that requirement no longer exists, and the injured person does not have to be the purchaser of the product in order to recover.

WHAT TYPES OF PRODUCTS CAN BE THE SUBJECT OF A PRODUCT LIABILITY LAWSUIT?

Just about any dangerous or defective products from automobiles to children’s toys to prescription drugs can be the subject of a product liability lawsuit. The manufacturer and other related entities owe the user of a product a duty to create only safe products, not ones that are unreasonably dangerous. If the manufacturer or related entity breaches that duty to provide you with a safe product, and that product injures you causing you damage, you may have a legitimate legal case based on product liability law.