What is Product Liability?

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Although technology has advanced at a nearly unimaginable rate during the last century, new developments are not without their flaws. Both asbestos and lead paint were once prized for their effectiveness and low cost; now, scientists know that there are connections between exposure to these substances and serious or deadly illnesses.

When a consumer is injured or killed by a defective or dangerous product, from over-the-counter supplements to toaster ovens, this can give rise to a personal injury claim alleging product liability.

The Necessary Elements of a Product Liability Claim

Sometimes, consumers who are injured by products may not have a legal claim. In order to prove liability, an injured plaintiff will need to be able to show each of the following:

  • The alleged defective product was sold in the marketplace;
  • The product was defective;
  • This defect caused injury; and
  • The defect made the product “unreasonably dangerous.”

Each of these elements must be established through a preponderance of the evidence or the claim failed. For example, as long as a refund or non-defective replacement is provided, a defective product that did not cause injury can’t be the source of a claim. Even when products are part of a chain of commerce, that does not relinquish the liability that the producer has for their product.

Common Types of Product Liability Claims

There are a few broad categories into which most product liability claims fall.

  • Car-related defects

From airbags to tires to seat belts, defective automobile components can exacerbate injuries suffered in a car crash or even cause a crash themselves. The manufacturer or retailer may be financially responsible for defective tires, airbags, seat belts, and other auto parts that cause injury.

  • Toxic substances

Job or environment-related exposure to certain chemicals can have an inevitable impact on health. This can include claims like mesothelioma from asbestos exposure, brain damage from lead exposure, or birth defects from prenatal exposure.

  • Pharmaceuticals and medical devices

Even drugs and devices that have been approved by the FDA aren’t foolproof, and illnesses or injuries caused by dangerous drugs, drug interactions, or defective medical devices can cause permanent damage.

If you’ve been injured due to a product failure or defect, contact Ginnis & Krathen, P.A. today. Our attorneys have combined decades of experience in handling a wide range of product liability claims and can fight for the compensation you deserve.

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