Product liability places responsibility on the manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, and vendors for damages caused by dangerous or defective products. The goal of product liability laws is to help protect consumers from dangerous products, while holding manufacturers, distributors, and retailers responsible for putting into the marketplace products that they knew or should have known were dangerous or defective.
In the United States, the claims most commonly associated with Product Liability are negligence, strict liability, breach of warranty, and various consumer protection plans. The majority of product liability laws is determined at the state level and varies widely from state to state. Each type of product liability claim requires different elements to be proven to present a successful claim.
- Negligence: A basic negligence claim consists of proof of: (1) a duty owed, (2) a breach of that duty, (3) an injury, and (4) that the breach proximately caused the plaintiff’s injury.
- Breach of Warranty: Breach of warranty-based product liability claims usually focus on one of three types: (1) breach of an express warranty, (2) breach of an implied warranty of merchantability, and (3) breach of an implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose.
- Consumer Protection: In addition to the above common law claims, many states have enacted consumer protection statutes providing for specific remedies for a variety of product defects. Statutory remedies are often provided for defects which merely render the product unusable (and hence cause economic injury) but do not cause physical injury or damage to other property; the “economic loss rule” means that strict liability is generally unavailable for products that damage only themselves.
There are numerous areas that are taken into account with Products Liability; Stobierski & Connor will guide you in the proper direction for your case. A few of the most common problems include design defects, manufacturing defects, and marketing defects.
Questions of negligence and breach of warranty are also grounds for a claim for damages under product liability. In the case of negligence, if it can be shown that a company was negligent in testing its product adequately or in supplying directions for its use, the injured party probably has grounds for filing suit. Similarly, a manufacturer issues a warranty for use promising the product free from defect. If the item proves to be defective, the user can file a product liability case. In a case of negligence, it is important that the plaintiff be able to show that the product was defective when it was received.
For strong representation from a lawyer dedicated to maximizing your benefits, call Stobierski & Connor now at 413-774-2867. There is no obligation to hire, and we collect no fees unless we make a recovery or settlement on your behalf.