What is Product Liability?
Products liability refers to the responsibility that the manufacturer of a product has to people injured as a result of defects with the product that render it unreasonably dangerous. In addition to the manufacturer, the responsible party might include the designer, the supplier and the retailer. One or more of these parties may be held accountable for any injury caused by the defective product.
There are three standard situations where consumers might be able to establish a defective product liability case. For example, a product may be considered defective when it is marketed improperly, meaning that it comes with inadequate safety markings, instructions or labelling. Or, a product liability case may be develop when the product has a defective design that makes it unsafe to use, even when it was manufactured using correct practices.
Additionally, a product may be viewed as defective if a problem develops while it is being manufactured or produced. For example, according to The New York Times, Takata, which is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of airbags, produced airbags that allegedly resulted in 100 injuries and eight deaths. After it was discovered that these airbags were allegedly harming consumers, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration fined Takata $70 million because they failed to disclose problems with their airbags.
Today, many product liability cases involve strict liability. Under strict liability laws, consumers can take action against any manufacturer that sells a product if the product resulted in injury. However, in these cases, consumers do not have to prove that the manufacturer was negligent in some way. Rather, they only have to establish that the product is defective in some shape or form. These types of cases can be brought up against the actual manufacturer of the product, the party that sold the product or the organization that designed the product initially.
In these cases, there are several things that claimants must be able to show. For instance, in a strict product liability case, consumers must be able to prove that:
- When they purchased the product, it was already in an unreasonably dangerous condition
- They were injured by the product while they were using it for its intended purpose
- The manufacturer or seller of the product did not plan on making any changes to the product before it reached the hands of consumers
Although consumers do not necessarily have to prove that the manufacturer was negligent in a strict liability case, liability is not always automatic.
Ohio Product Liability Lawsuits
In a product liability case, an Ohio product liability lawyer can help you to determine who is responsible for the design, manufacturing or marketing of the product. The supplier of the product or the retailers that sold the item may also be liable and named as defendants in product liability lawsuits. Defective products most often found in the workplace and home include drugs, cribs, machinery, lights, appliances, high chairs, child and infant safety seats, vehicles, airplanes and boats.
If a company knows that its product is unsafe or if using the product in a certain manner could cause injury, it is legally obligated to provide a warning to the consumer. In many cases when a consumer was adversely affected, his or her injury could have been avoided if he or she had known about the risks or dangers prior to using the product.
Attorney Group for Ohio can connect you with an experienced products liability lawyer who can help you throughout the legal process.
Injured Parties May Be Entitled to Compensation
If a product is determined to be defective and unreasonably dangerous, the manufacturer can be held responsible for injuries caused by the product. Compensation that may be recovered if there are injuries associated with a defective product include:
- Medical expenses incurred
- Pain, mental anguish, and suffering resulting from an injury
- Scarring caused by the injury or medical treatment
If a loved one dies because of a defective product, family members may be eligible to pursue compensation for the wrongful death of their loved one, including:
- Funeral expenses
- Medical expenses prior to death
- Mental anguish associated with the loss of a family member