What is Product Liability

Resources 9 Product Liability 9 What is Product Liability

Product liability attorneys focus on the area of law that provides victims of dangerous products with legal recourse for injuries incurred as the result of use of a product. Products marketed to the public are required to meet the common expectations of a consumer. Products that are found to have an unexpected defect or pose a danger do not meet a consumers’ common expectations. In the case of product liability, more than one party can be held liable for injuries sustained from using a defective product. For example, a defect in a manufacturer’s process can create a dangerous defect; the manufacturer could be held liable for injury sustainedfrom the defect. There are several governing applications of product liability; they can cover defects in warnings, manufacturing defects, design defects, or product liability law in general.

​​What is “Product Liability”?

Dangerous or defective products are a known cause of 1000s of injuries a year in the United States. “Product liability law” is a body of governing rules concerning who can be held responsible for dangerous or defective products; these rules differ from personal injury law. The rules governing product liability occasionally prove easier for the injured to recover damages.

Product liability refers to a seller or manufacturer’s liability for offering a defective product to a consumer. Responsibility for a defective product that causes injury can rest with all involved in the product distribution chain. Product liability law necessitates that a product meets the common expectations of a consumer. When products pose an unexpected danger or defect, the product does not meet the common expectations of the consumer.

​Federal product liability law have not been established, therefore, product liability claims are addressed by state laws and processed under the principles of strict liability, negligence, breach of warranty, or modeled on commercial statutes in each state.

Product Liability prescription period ​

A victim (plaintiff) who has suffered injury from a dangerous product that wishes to seek compensation is required to bring an action within a specific time frame defined by their state statute of limitations. In Louisiana, the prescription period is one year from the date of the incident. However, this statute does not apply to injured minors.

​Liability in Product Cases

Several concepts can be applied to product liability. We cover a few of them below. 

​Defects in Manufacturing

Occasionally, a flaw occurs in the production process,resulting in a dangerous defect. Strict liability usually applies in these cases. However, even well-designed products can cause harm users. Defects in production (manufacturing) occur when a product is incorrectly manufactured and differs from its original design. For instance, a prescription drug could be contaminated at a production facility. When this type of manufacturing defect causes injuries, the manufacturer could be found liable for the injury.

​Product Liability and Guns

Thousands of individuals are injured or killed by firearms every year. When this happens, people often question whether there is recourse. However, in firearm injury, it depends on how it happened. Was the gun defective? If, so, it may be possible to make a claim for compensation under products liability law. If the gun was free of defect, it may be possible to recover compensation under negligence.  

​Pharmaceutical Drug Liability

Medications are common in product liability lawsuits. Producers of prescription medication have a duty to stringently test medication before distributing them to market, under the strict testing guidelines set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). FDA guidelines are deemed as industry standard, but FDA licensing does not negate product liability if the medication proves defective in an injury case

As is common with all prescription medication, a “learned intermediary” lies between the manufacturer and the end-user. For example, a learned intermediary could be the prescribing doctor, the nurse providing instructions on use, or the fulfillment by a pharmacist.

The lines of liability can become blurry in product liability when assigning liability; however, an experienced Lake Charles product liability or defective products attorney can help a victim discern who is at fault for their injuries.



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