Product Liability

What Is Product Liability?

There are many different types of cases in which one can sue for damages. One of the most common is product liability. Product liability means that a company and all of its supply chain partners are responsible for making consumers aware of any damage that can be caused to a consumer by their product.

The parties that must acknowledge product liability include

  • Parts manufacturer(s)
  • Assembling manufacturer(s)
  • Wholesale suppliers
  • Retail store owners

Any of these companies or people can be held responsible in a product liability suit. Products don’t only have to be tangible objects. The law has expanded to include intangible products such as natural gas, living creatures such as pets, buildings such as homes and real estate, and writings such as maps and medical advice.

Product liability cases can include design, manufacturing, or marketing defects.

  • Design defects – These are inherent in the product itself, with a design flaw that was present before the product was made. In Illinois, the plaintiff (and their attorney) must prove the design defect.
  • Manufacturing defects – These occur while the product is being made, constructed, or produced. Not all of the products made will have a manufacturing defect; it’s usually just ones from a certain batch or made in a particular place or time.
  • Marketing defects – This relates to improper warnings, instructions, or mislabeled products that don’t give accurate information about how to use a product or the latent dangers associated with one.

If a plaintiff can prove that a product is defective, even if the manufacturer or the associated parties weren’t trying to put one out on the market, then the defendant is liable.

To determine whether or not the defendant is liable, a court will usually use one of two methods to determine liability.

  • Risk-Utility Test – This measures whether or not the product’s utility outweighs its risk of harm. If so, the defendant is not liable.
  • Consumer Expectation Test – This shows if a reasonable consumer would determine that a product was defective while they were using it reasonably. If it’s determined that reasonable use by a reasonable person wouldn’t show a defect, then the defendant is not liable.

Most product liability claims are based on either breach of warranty or fitness, strict liability, or negligence. Grewer Law Group specializes in personal injury and product liability cases. If you’ve been injured or suffered monetary loss because of a defective product, reach out to us for help moving forward with your case.

Grewer Law

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