Products liability legal claims can be based on negligence, strict liability, misrepresentation or breach of warranty of fitness depending on the jurisdiction within which the claim is based. Many states have enacted comprehensive products liability statutes.
Types of Liability
In law, there originally wasn’t any concept of product liability. It was your business to be sure that you bought safe merchandise. The only way you could get help from a court was if you had a contract and the contract had been broken; you were also limited to just those people who had signed the contract. This changed over time because the courts wanted to be able to do something for people who had been hurt because of something they bought but who didn’t have a contract. Now there are four different kinds of product liability.
- Negligence is defined by what a reasonably careful person would or wouldn’t do. If someone causes one or more other people to be hurt, either by doing something or not doing something, and the court decides that a reasonably careful person wouldn’t have acted or failed to act that way, then that is negligence.
- Breach of warranty means that when a vendor sells you something and makes a promise or claim about its quality or about the type of product you bought, those promises form a warranty.
- Misrepresentation means that a company either deliberately concealed possible harm that could occur if you bought a product or drew attention away from the harm. You have to prove that you relied on the company’s misrepresentation.
- Strict liability happens when an action you took causes damage. If you do something dangerous and one or more people get hurt, strict liability says you are responsible even if you were being very careful. In addition, if people get hurt using a defective product, then everyone from the manufacturer to the retail store may be liable for that defect.
Product Liability Lawsuits
The most common types of product liability claims include automobile product liability claims and medical devices. Toxic exposure injury claims such as asbestos lawsuits, Benzene and Lead are also product liability claims, as are dangerous drugs lawsuits made by pharmaceutical companies.
Medical Devices and Medical Products Liability Claims
Products Liability is generally considered a strict liability offense. Strict liability wrongs do not depend on the degree of carefulness by the defendant. Translated to products liability terms, a defendant is liable when it is shown that the product is defective. It is irrelevant whether the manufacturer or supplier exercised great care; if there is a defect in the product that causes harm, he or she will be liable for it.
Product Recalls & Lawsuits
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission advises that there are 200-300 product recalls each year. A large percentage of these recalls involve children’s products and toys. Other products recalled because of defects or dangerous conditions include automobiles, tires, furniture, household appliances, tools, and safety equipment such as smoke detectors and fire alarms. These products are designed for our safe use, when they fail because of defects they can cause serious personal injury including brain injury, spinal cord injury, paralysis, blindness, scarring, pain, suffering and even wrongful death.
There are many examples of product liabilities including defectively designed or manufactured products; products that do not live up to their respective warranties or guarantees; products that causes injury due to normal use and products that have unclear, incorrect or incomplete instructions or guidelines for use and therefore cause injury or damage.
Product Liability Lawyer Websites
Orange County, California Product Liability Attorneys – Robinson Calcagnie Robinson Shapiro Davis, Inc.