What is Products Liability?
Products Liability, as defined by The Legal Dictionary by Farlex, is: The responsibility of a manufacturer or vendor of goods to compensate for injury caused by defective merchandise that it has provided for sale.
When individuals are harmed by an unsafe product, they may have a cause of action against the persons who designed, manufactured, sold, or furnished that product. In the United States, some consumers have hailed the rapid growth of product liability litigation as an effective tool for consumer protection. The law has changed from caveat emptor (“let the buyer beware”) to strict liability for manufacturing defects that make a product unreasonably dangerous.
In most jurisdictions, a plaintiff’s cause of action may be based on one or more of four different theories: negligence, breach of warranty, misrepresentation, and strict tort liability. Negligence refers to the absence of, or failure to exercise, proper or ordinary care. It means that an individual who had a legal obligation either omitted to do what should have been done or did something that should not have been done.
A manufacturer can be held liable for negligence if lack of reasonable care in the production, design, or assembly of the manufacturer’s product caused harm. For example, a manufacturing company might be found negligent if its employees did not perform their work properly or if management sanctioned improper procedures and an unsafe product was made.
Breach of warranty refers to the failure of a seller to fulfill the terms of a promise, claim, or representation made concerning the quality or type of the product. The law assumes that a seller gives certain warranties concerning goods that are sold and that he or she must stand behind these assertions.
Misrepresentation in the advertising and sales promotion of a product refers to the process of giving consumers false security about the safety of a particular product, ordinarily by drawing attention away from the hazards of its use. An action lies in the intentional concealment of potential hazards or in negligent misrepresentation. The key to recovery on the basis of misrepresentation is the plaintiff’s ability to prove that he relied upon the representations that were made. Misrepresentation can be argued under a theory of breach of express warranty or a theory of strict tort liability.
Strict liability involves extending the responsibility of the vendor or manufacturer to all individuals who might be injured by the product, even in the absence of fault. Injured guests, bystanders, or others with no direct relationship to the product may sue for damages caused by the product. An injured party must prove that the item was defective, the defect proximately caused the injury, and the defect rendered the product unreasonably dangerous.
Designers, manufacturers and distributors of defective and dangerous products which cause injuries should be held accountable to you, the consumer. You can be harmed at home, at work, or during many other aspects of your daily life.
The types of defective products which our attorneys have investigated and successfully recovered damages include:
- Seat belt failures
- Airbag failures
- Brake Failures
- Pharmaceutical products
- Hip Replacement Implants
- Mirena IUD’s
- Surgical Implants
- Salmonella Poisoning
- Knee Replacement Implants
- Industrial Equipment
- Child Safety