Product Liability

Every year in the United States, there are thousands of accidents to consumers as a result of faulty, defective, and sometimes dangerous products. Product liability laws are written to protect consumers from this substandard manufacturing and the sellers who make these faulty products available for consumer use. In general, the expectation is that any product should meet the ordinary expectations of someone who buys the product, and when this expectation is not met there can be a product liability lawsuit.

To be considered for a product liability case the product must have been sold on the market. This indicates that everyone in the supply chain for this product can be liable for their role in its design, creation, manufacturing, and marketing. In the past, a person could not file a product liability suit unless they were the ones who purchased the product. However, most recently, if the product is defective, and anyone uses it where there is injury or damage, a product liability lawsuit can be filed. An important aspect in relation to product use emphasizes that the product must have gone through the manufacturer’s regular supply chain ruling out the possibility of a lawsuit regarding a product being bought at a garage sale or second-hand store.

The manufacturer is ultimately responsible for damages or injury due to defective workmanship. However, in a lawsuit, the burden of proof usually rests with the defendant to establish why the product was not defective rather than with the plaintiff who claims that the product did cause harm. This concept is known as “res ipsa loquitur,” and simply means in Latin that “the thing speaks for itself.” The reasoning here is that the defect in the product would not exist if someone was not negligent.

A second approach with product liability includes the term “strict liability.” In this case, the plaintiff does not have to prove that the manufacturer was negligent, but only that the product was defective. If “strict liability” applies, the consumer plaintiff might recover damages just based on a defective product if they cannot prove that the manufacturer was negligent or if the product was incorrectly labeled for sale.

The law offices of Cochran, Kroll & Associates, Inc., handle many types of product liability lawsuits. Some of these include:

If you have suffered injury or damages from the use of a defective product or if you have had medical issues that were partially caused by a defective medical device, contact the Law Offices of Cochran, Kroll & Associates at Cochranlaw.com or call us at –866-MICH-LAW (1-866-755-9502) for a free consultation.

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