Product Liability

When a consumer sees a product on the shelf of a store, they assume that the product is safe and does not pose any real or unforeseen threat to their well-being if used properly. An important aspect of maintaining a business is maintaining a healthy concern for the lifespan and health of current and potential consumers. The responsibility manufacturers, prior to selling a product, includes testing all potential merchandise for safety. If manufacturers fail to do so, consumers are vulnerable to serious injuries and even death.

For the best interest of the often times naïve consumers, federal and local lawmakers have put in place legislation product liability laws to protect unsuspecting consumers from shrewd companies. These product liability laws are designed to protect the consumers from malicious business practices. In the event a consumer receives an injury due to a faulty product, the consumer has the right to seek compensation for damages and medical expenses he or she has suffered.

The premise of a product liability case is usually based on one or more of the following defects:

  • Design defect: Defects are present before the product is manufactured.
  • Manufacturing defect: Manufacturing defects occur during the construction of a product.
  • Defects in marketing: Defective or misleading marketing provides inadequate instructions or warnings to the consumer concerning the dangers of the merchandise.

Product liability laws do not exclusively hold the manufacturers of a defective product responsible. In some cases, retail stores that sell a defective product can be held responsible for any damages sustained. However, in product liability cases, the manufacturers are held responsible unless it can be proven that retailers knew the product being sold posed a threat to the well-being of their customers.

The defective nature of a product is not always done intentionally or known by the manufacturer until it is too late. However, ignorance is not a valid excuse in a product liability case, especially when it has caused pain and suffering to innocent victims. In addition, consumers can even make a product liability claim even if he or she used the product in question incorrectly. Companies marketing a product have the responsibility to provide warnings and advice on proper use of a product while foreseeing any adverse consumer behavior.

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