- Manufacturing Defect: occurs in the manufacturing process and usually involves poor-quality materials or shoddy work;
- Design Defect: the product design is inherently dangerous or useless; and
- Failure to Warn: arises in products that carry inherent non-obvious dangers which could be mitigated through adequate warnings to the user, and these dangers are present regardless of how well the product is manufactured and designed for its intended purpose.
Different Elements are Required to be Proven for Each Type of Claim.
The majority of product liability laws are determined at the state level and vary widely from state to state. Each type of product liability claim requires different elements to be proven to present a successful claim. In the United States, the claims most commonly associated with product liability are:
- strict liability,
- breach of warranty, and
- various consumer protection claims.
Identifying the Responsible Parties.
When it comes to products liability, it is not always easy to identify the party responsible for your injuries. Some parties that may be responsible are:
- The designer of the product;
- The manufacturer who produced it;
- The supplier of the materials used by the manufacturer;
- The distributor who entered the product into the market;
- The retailer who sold it to you; or
- Any other third party involved in either its production or distribution.
Many States have Enacted Consumer Protection Statutes.
These provide for specific remedies for a variety of product defects. When it comes to injuries arising from the use of a product, there are economic losses, those attributable to the loss of use of the product, and then there are personal injuries resulting from use of a product.Statutory remedies are often provided for defects which merely render the product unusable (and hence cause economic injury) but do not cause physical injury or damage to other property.
The best known examples of consumer protection laws for product defects are lemon laws, which became widespread because automobiles are often an American citizen’s second-largest investment after buying a home.
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Products liability claims are complex cases involving expert witnesses, extensive discovery, and big corporate defendants with powerful resources.
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