What Is Strict Product Liability?

strict product liability

Customers should never have to touch a defective product. Burns, broken bones, lacerations, pharmaceutical injuries, and many more dangerous possibilities arise when manufacturers send out defective products. Every year, faulty toys, appliances, automobiles, and other products are sold to the general public by manufacturers and distributors. These dangerous goods have the potential to inflict catastrophic injuries. This provides victims the ability to sue for monetary damages in civil court. In many jurisdictions, strict product liability applies, meaning that victims of these dangerous products have a higher chance of compensation.

At Curcio Law Offices, we know that when you buy a product, you expect it to perform safely. Unfortunately, manufacturers like to make money, and sometimes that means cutting corners. If you or someone you know suffered injuries from a defective product, call a Chicago product liability lawyer straight away. We’ll help take the weight of a complicated case off of your shoulders and fight for just compensation. To schedule a free consultation, please call 312-321-1111 today, or fill out our online intake form.

What Is Product Liability?

A producer or seller might hold responsibility for placing a faulty product in the hands of a customer. All sellers of the goods in the distribution chain bear responsibility for a product fault that causes damage. In general, the law demands that a product fulfill the consumer’s usual expectations. When a product contains an unanticipated flaw or hazard, it does not satisfy the expectations of the customer.

As the defective product moves from the producer to the customer, the jurisdiction in which the product liability lawsuit is brought will decide the liability of those engaged in the chain of commerce. A person or corporation can be held responsible for a wide range of goods, including medical equipment and food poisoning.

What Is Strict Product Liability?

The strict responsibility rule in product liability claims holds that a seller, distributor, or producer of a faulty product is accountable for the harm of another person, regardless of what steps he or she takes to ensure the defect never occurred. Depending on the nature and circumstances of the claim, there are a variety of exceptions that might be applied, as with most regulations.

Although the burden of proof in a strict liability case is lower than in a typical product liability case, this does not mean that responsibility is automatically found. The person or entity responsible for the defective goods may claim that you utilized it wrongly or in a way that clearly resulted in damage.

Types of Product Liability Lawsuits

Depending on whether the claim is based on strict responsibility, negligence, or another theory, a consumer must typically show that one or more of three categories of defects occurred. Manufacturing flaws, design flaws, and marketing flaws are all examples of failures to warn.

Manufacturing Defect

This is the most basic sort of error, which arises when there is a flaw in the manufacturing process. A manufacturing fault can result from a mistake on the factory’s assembly line, causing a product to stand out from the rest of its line. An automobile accident caused by failing brakes, for example, might have resulted from a manufacturing mistake in that particular set of brakes.

Design Flaw

Sometimes an issue affects a whole range of items, making them excessively unsafe. In other words, no mistakes arose throughout the production process, and they did not deviate from the original design. The persons and entities that created the product’s blueprint or specifications might have liability for failing to account for foreseeable hazards.

The legal criteria for proving a design flaw differs by jurisdiction, and in most cases, a claimant will need to hire an expert. It may be necessary to demonstrate that a design was dangerous by demonstrating that a safer alternative might have been produced at a fair cost.

Failure to Warn

A product liability claim based on a marketing fault may arise if a manufacturer fails to offer adequate instructions on how to use a product or fails to warn customers about the product’s inherent dangers. Manufacturers will not be held responsible if they fail to warn of a type of offence, such as the sharpness of a knife or the possibility of falling off a ladder.

This notion is common in the pharmaceutical industry, because drug makers are not required to mention a medication’s adverse effects on the label. It might also happen if a home product includes a chemical that could be harmful in certain circumstances. The victim would have to have been injured as a result of a previously unknown danger, and they would have to have been using the product in a way that was either intended or reasonably foreseeable.

Breach of Warranty

A victim may be entitled to file a claim based on a breach of express warranty if a product comes with a written warranty and fails to live up to the conditions of the warranty. A warranty can be found on product labeling or packaging, in product promotion, or in the user manual that comes with the device. If the law in your state requires a warranty for a specific type of goods, even if the manufacturer or distributor does not, a claim for breach of implied warranty may emerge.

This generally consists of an implicit merchantability warranty, which ensures that the product is suitable for the purpose for which it is offered. When a vendor understands that a certain customer will be utilizing a product for a specified purpose, an implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose may exist. This warranty is unusual, because it is based on a customer’s contacts with the seller.

When Is a Class Action Lawsuit the Answer?

Victims can file individually or as part of a class action if the defective product caused harm to a significant number of individuals. A small number of persons will represent thousands of others who have had comparable injuries in a product liability class action case. When the amount of damages each plaintiff obtains is little and the potential value of an individual claim does not justify the legal costs, filing or joining a class action may be acceptable. When customers experienced serious or unique damage, they rarely opt for a class action lawsuit.

Who Is Liable for a Defective Product?

An injured customer may seek compensation from one or more responsible parties. These parties include manufacturers, distributors, and/or retail outlets, depending on the facts of the case. In a product liability case, determining the defendant is not a question of picking one responsible party over another. Any party engaged in the chain of distribution of a faulty product hold liability in a lawsuit. It is critical to include any entity engaged in the distribution chain when submitting a claim for a faulty product.

Manufacturer

This might be a big multinational corporation or anybody engaged in the product’s design or promotion. Claimants might include both the manufacturer of the faulty piece and the manufacturer of the complete product. This largely depends on the product’s size.

Retailer

When a shop promotes a product for sale, it implies that the item is safe and appropriate for usage. If a buyer acquires a faulty product, the seller of that item might be held responsible for damages. This holds even if they did not participate in its development.

Wholesaler

As the middleman between the manufacturer and the retailer, the wholesaler sometimes holds part of the blame for defective products. 

Strict Product Liability Elements

It is important to note that you must prove certain elements in your strict product liability case. 

  • When someone developed, made, or sold the product, it was unreasonably hazardous or harmful.
  • The vendor expected and planned for the goods to reach the buyer in its original state.
  • The plaintiff sustained an injury from the use of the defective product.

What Damages Can an Attorney Help Me Recover in a Strict Product Liability Lawsuit?

Injuries caused by faulty products usually result in compensatory, special, or punitive damages. If a product liability case is successful, the plaintiff gains access to the following damages.

  • Current and future medical expenses
  • Lost income
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress or anguish

Compensatory Damages:

The purpose of these damages is to make the plaintiff “whole” again following the accident or injury. They can be classified into two types: actual and general.

Special Damages:

These damages compensate the plaintiff for any measurable out-of-pocket expenses or financial losses. This includes medical and hospital bills, missed wages, alternative transportation costs, and the cost of repairing or replacing damaged goods.

General Damages:

These damages intend to compensate the plaintiff for losses that are difficult to quantify financially. Pain and suffering, mental agony, medical expenditures, future lost earnings, loss of consortium, and loss of enjoyment are all examples.

Call Curcio Law Offices Today

Defective product injuries can cause a great deal of physical, mental, and financial distress. Our attorneys may be able to assist you if you sustained injuries from a faulty or defective product. At Curcio Law Offices, we’re here to advocate on your behalf as a victim of negligence. For information, or to set up a free consultation, please call 312-321-1111 today. You can also fill out our online intake form.

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