question.jpgIn Personal Injury Law

What is products liability?

Products liability, in general, refers to the area of law involving the liability of manufacturers and sellers of dangerous or defective goods or products any or all parties along the chain of manufacture of any product for damage caused by that product can be liable for damages. Under products liability laws, manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, retailers, and others who make products available to the public can be held responsible for the injuries those products cause. In general, products liability claims fall under three categories: design defect; manufacturing defect; and failure to warn.

Manufacturing defect claims are based on the strict liability doctrine, meaning that injured customers do not have to prove negligence; the manufacturer is simply held liable for allowing a defective product to enter the marketplace - the issue is a matter of public policy, not the manufacturer’s unreasonable or negligent conduct.

In failure to warn cases (adequate warning labels), strict liability may not apply, but manufacturers are required to warn consumers about known dangers, and can be found negligent if: 1) they fail to warn the users about known risks; 2) the warning is vague or inadequate; or 3) the warning is not adequately brought to the consumer’s attention. There is no requirement, however, that the manufacturer warn of the dangers of unintended uses.