Product liability law is comprehensive in the United States. Product liability law is intended to protect the consumer from dangerous and unsafe products; this law also seeks to protect against products designed to harm consumers instead of protecting them. Although product liability laws do not have an exact definition, the most common types of products that would fall under the law’s umbrella include food, drugs, medical devices, construction supplies, clothes, paints, cleaners, toys, animals, cars, and other goods or services. Product liability lawsuits cover almost everything manufactured or distributed by a company or organization. While some of the most common cases regarding products stem from asbestos and lead exposure, other types of products cause injury claims and legal troubles every year.
A product liability lawsuit happens when a consumer suffers injury or damages due to using, owning, or being forced to use a defective product, was dangerous or was substandard. Product liability cases are brought in federal court by anyone who has sustained an injury due to a product. These cases are sometimes also brought in state court, depending on where the product was manufactured. Most product liability lawsuits seek damages that pay for medical expenses, lost wages, pain, and suffering, and more.
The plaintiff in a product liability claim must prove three things to win the case first, that the plaintiff suffered an injury or other damage as the result of the defendant’s product second, that the plaintiff has established the probability of a future loss or injury as the result of the defendant’s product. Third, the plaintiff has established a causal relationship between the damage and the product. If any one of these conditions is found, the defendant is liable and must compensate the plaintiffs for their losses.
Defective products are not the only reason why people file product liability lawsuits. Many times, it’s not even about a product being defective. It can be about someone not getting a product to work, someone not getting their dosage correct, or even a person reacting to a product that was not included in their warranty. Sometimes, people file a complaint because they feel wronged by a product or have been injured due to the non-functioning of a product.
It is the manufacturer’s responsibility to document all manufacturing defects properly and to comply with all warranty and consumer protection laws. The manufacturer is also held liable if it fails to make available a safe product to the public. In this situation, if the manufacturer was aware of the defect but did not take reasonable steps to fix it, then the manufacturer is responsible for the defective goods. If the retailer, reseller, manufacturer, or agent supports this product or offers another similar item and does not support it with proper documentation or offers a refund, then it would be considered negligence on the part of the product manufacturer or retailer to keep the item or offer a refund.
A Dow Corning product liability lawsuit has caused the company millions of dollars in damages. This manufacturer was aware of a defect that resulted in insulation that was not meant to prevent heat. It caused a fire in an office building where the employees were working. The court awarded them millions of dollars.