Defective products, whether the defect lies in the design or the production or manufacture, can cause serious injury and even death. Product liability refers to responsibility for harm caused by a product. A product can be poorly designed, so that it fails to discharge its intended function, and by its failure causes harm to its user. A product can be properly and safely designed, yet defects in its manufacturing can make it harmful or dangerous to the end user. An appropriately designed and manufactured product can be marketed with inaccurate or misleading instructions, or fail to warn consumers of dangers inherent in the product.
Products liability laws state that all members of a distribution chain—the designer, the manufacturer, suppliers of component parts, the wholesaler, and the retail store that sold the product-can all be held responsible for a dangerous or defective product.
A products liability case does not hinge on the defendant’s care or lack of care. If the product is shown to be defective, a defendant is liable whether the manufacturer or supplier exercised appropriate care or not. If the product has a defect that causes harm, the defendant can be held liable for the harm caused.
Experienced product liability attorneys provide legal counsel on a broad range of products liability cases, including automotive products, , recreational vehicles, construction equipment, aircraft and their component parts, consumer products, over the counter medications, including supplements, medical devices, children’s toys, clothes, and other products and many other categories.
While products are generally taken to mean tangible personal property, products liability law includes intangibles such as a gas, animals, real estate such as a house or an office building, and intellectual property such as navigational charts.
A consumer or user of a product who has been harmed by the use of a product containing inherent defects can seek damages. The person seeking damages need not be the owner of a product; someone to whom the product was loaned or given, or who was required to use the product as part of their work could also pursue a claim.
Product liability is determined by state law, and products liability cases are litigated in state courts. To pursue a products liability claim, you will need to find an experienced product liability lawyer in your state.