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Product Liability FAQ
  1. In order to win a product liability case what do you need to prove?
    You need to prove the following:
    A) The product causing the harm must have been in a defective condition, unreasonably dangerous for its intended use;
    B) The defect must have existed when the product left the manufacturer’s control; and
    C) The defect must have caused your injuries and damages.

  2. In a product liability case how is a defective product defined?
    A product is “defective” if an ordinary user or consumer could not have anticipated the danger the product created. The defect may be caused by the way the product was manufactured, assembled, inspected, packaged or tested.

  3. What do you have to look for when determining if a product is defective?
    From a practical standpoint, you have to ask these questions about the product that caused your injury:
    A) Could the manufacturer have “designed out” the defect? In other words, could the dangerous condition have been avoided by an alternative design that was economical and practical?
    B) If the dangerous condition could not have been avoided without impairing the efficiency of the product, did the manufacturer guard the product user from coming in contact with the dangerous condition?
    C) If it was not possible to design out the danger or guard against it, did the manufacturer at least warn or instruct the user about the dangerous condition and the way in which it could have been avoided?

  4. Is the product user’s fault considered in a product liability case?
    In most states, the injured person’s fault is “compared” with that of the manufacturer. The percentage of fault attributable to the product user will usually reduce the amount of money that person is entitled to receive equal to the percentage of fault. That means that if your case is worth $100,000, but you are 40% at fault, you will recover only $60,000.

  5. What legal theories can be utilized in a product liability claim?
    Product liability claims can be based on negligence, strict liability, or breach of warranties, depending on the jurisdiction where the claim is based.

  6. What types of product defects incur liability in manufacturers and suppliers?
    There are three types of product defects that incur liability in manufacturers and suppliers: design defects, manufacturing defects, and defects in marketing. Design defects are inherent, they exist before the product is manufactured. While the item might serve its purpose well, it can be unreasonably dangerous to use due to a design flaw. On the other hand, manufacturing defects occur during the construction or production of the item. Only a few out of many products of the same type are flawed in this case. Defects in marketing deal with improper instructions and failures to warn consumers of latent dangers in the product.

  7. In a product liability case what is a strict liability offense.
    Strict liability wrongs do not depend on the degree of carefulness by the defendant. Translated to product liability terms, a defendant is liable when it is shown that the product is defective. It is irrelevant whether the manufacturer or supplier exercised great care; if there is a defect in the product that causes harm, he will be liable for it.

  8. Where is the law of product liability is found?
    The law of product liability is found mainly in common law (state judge-made law) and in the Uniform Commercial Code. Article 2 of the UCC deals with the sales of goods and it has been adopted by most states. In it, the most important product liability sections are the implied and express warranties of merchantability in the sales of goods 2-314 and 2-315.

  9. What type of damages can I claim in a product liability claim?
    People injured by defective products are entitled to receive money damages for such things as pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, disability and disfigurement, emotional distress and, in some cases, loss of enjoyment of life.

  10. If I am injured by a defective product at work can I sue my employer for injuries that I have sustained?
    No. You cannot sue your employer if you are entitled to collect workers’ compensation benefits. However, if there is another entity or party who manufactured, supplied or was responsible for maintaining the product, you may have a claim against that party.

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