Elements Required in a Product Liability Suit

When a consumer buys a product they can expect it to meet certain ordinary expectations. If a manufacturer or other seller gives a consumer a product that has unexpected danger or risk attached to it, the consumer is likely to have a cause of action. There are two main types of liability in a products liability suit: the first concerns a product that has an inherent fault in its design or manufacture. The second does not relate to any fault of the product itself, but rather concerns the failure to provide sufficient warning as to the inherent dangers of the product. The main element relating to a product liability case depends on the product itself and whether or not it is in fact defective. Defects can arise during all stages of a product’s life, starting from the design to being brought to market, including the advertising, labeling and instructions on the finished product as well as after it has been sold to the consumer.

The Law

Products liability law combines elements of tort (negligence, strict liability, deceit) as well as contract (warranties). In practice, this means that a plaintiff has a variety of ways to claim against a defendant. The plaintiff’s case is generally that the manufacturer, seller, distributor or other party is at fault for supplying a defective product or that the product was sold with false, erroneous or misleading information. If the suit is contested the defendant’s response is usually to argue that the product was free of defects. Alternatively, they will seek to shift the blame for the harm caused from themselves to the plaintiff by stating that the plaintiff misused the product. However if it is found that the plaintiff misused the product they may still succeed in their claim, but only if the manufacturer was capable of ‘foreseeing’ the way the product was misused.

If you may need legal assistance with a Product Liability matter , consult with a Product Liability Attorney in your area to receive a free case review.

Who Is The Defendant?

This depends on the circumstances of the case but can be the manufacturer, distributor or some other entity involved in the production and marketing of the product. If individuals have made changes or repairs to the product, they may also share some responsibility for the defect.

Cost

A major consideration in products liability cases is the cost of litigation. There is no point in conducting lengthy and onerous litigation if the plaintiff is unlikely to receive any financial benefit after winning the case. Although with some defects there may be a large number of potential plaintiffs, the attorney who takes the case must weigh up the cost of the litigation against the likely pay out. If the payment after the successful conclusion of the case is not likely to be substantial, the costs of the litigation may prove to be prohibitive. Not only this, product manufacturers will generally spend very large sums of money defending product liability claims, so it is important to present such cases properly. 

Damages

If a products liability claim is successful, the plaintiff will be entitled to damages for injury related expenses including funeral costs (if the person died as a result of the injury), past and future medical expenses and damages for pain, suffering and future earnings as well as loss of service and society if applicable.

If you may need legal assistance with a Product Liability matter , consult with a Product Liability Attorney in your area to receive a free case review.
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