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What Are Product Liability Claims Based On?
According to Cornell University Law School’s Legal Information Institute, any party who played a role in the manufacturing, selling or marketing of a defective product may be held financially accountable for harm caused by the product, depending on the type of defect. Claims of product liability are not based on any federal law, but on state law. Strict liability, breach of warranty of fitness or negligence can be used as a basis for a product liability claim.
In a case involving a manufacturing defect, it does not matter whether the company knew about the problem or not. An Arizona product liability attorney notes that the injured victim only needs to show that the product meets the requirements proving a manufacturer’s defect exists. This is referred to as strict liability. For example, a flooring company has followed the most stringent processes in designing, making and selling a new composite wood product. However, during the manufacturing process, a mistake was made, resulting in the existence of a harmful chemical within the composite. The company, unaware of the error, sold the product and people soon developed an illness from the exposure. Due to the defect that exists, the company can be sued by the victims.
Types of Product Defects
According to the Arizona State Bar, product defects include:
- Information or marketing defect: An information or marketing defect may be claimed if a manufacturer failed to provide warnings or instructions on the use of a product, which caused a user to become injured. Pharmaceutical drugs may be the subject of a marketing defect claim if a company knew about a risk associated with the drug and did not warn consumers about it.
- Manufacturing defect: A manufacturing defect may be claimed by a plaintiff if the process of making the product resulted in an unsafe defect. In such cases, one single product in an entire batch may be flawed, which could cause unintended harm to the user. However, if a manufacturing error is widespread, numerous products may be defective, putting more people at risk.
- Design defect: A design defect is determined when the overall design of a product caused it to be unsafe. A design defect may also be at play if a product is unsafe even when used in the manner intended by the manufacturer. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, IKEA issued a full recall after multiple reports of injuries involving six different models of the company’s safety gate extensions and gates. Two American children received bruises and cuts, due to a problem with the locking mechanism on the gates. Additionally, two concussions were reported and eight other injuries involving over 50 other incidents around the world. This is the second recall for one of the safety gates and it is estimated that around 80,000 units were sold.
How an Arizona Product Liability Attorney Can Help
Product makers have a duty to provide safe products. If there are risks of harm associated with their products, they also must provide adequate warnings. If a product maker fails to fulfill this duty, it could be held liable in lawsuits for injuries that may result.
People injured by the fault of others may be eligible to recover money for:
- Medical Expenses
- Lost Wages
- Pain and Suffering
The families of those killed may be eligible to recover money for funeral expenses and the pain that comes with losing a loved one.