Elements of Strict Product Liability
The fault notion of “strict liability” in the context of personal injury law states that a defendant manufacturer, distributor, or seller of a faulty product could be accountable to anybody harmed by that product, irrespective of if the defendant did everything possible to ensure the flaw never occurred.
In other terms, the defendant’s actions are irrelevant in determining culpability for an injury under strict responsibility. Thus, while straightforward in theory, the strict product culpability rule (and its exceptions) might become difficult.
The Defendant’s Actions Generally Do Not Matter Under ‘Strict’ Liability
The defendant’s actions concerning the actual events are typically a critical component of most personal injury claims. In a personal injury case stemming from a slip and fall or automobile accident, for instance, the defendant must have done something (or omitted to do something) that was attributed to negligence.
Strict liability, on the other hand, eliminates the question of whether the defendant’s actions met or fell short of a given standard. Again, the reasoning is that once a consumer had to recognize and demonstrate specific unreasonable or unsafe behavior, which happened at a certain point along with the timeframe of a product’s path to the consumer, these types of cases would be virtually impossible to win.
As a result of this recognition by the state and courts legislators, strict responsibility is established in product defect claims.
What The Complainant Must Establish To Win A Strict Liability Claim
In a strict liability claim, the complainant (the individual bringing a personal injury action) must generally demonstrate that:
- The product was unacceptably harmful or unsafe at the time it was developed, produced, or marketed
- The vendor anticipated and meant that the product should arrive at the consumer unaltered
- The defective product harmed the plaintiff
Strict Product Liability Does Not Imply Liability
Merely since a plaintiff must demonstrate less in a strict product liability claim (relative to a negligence-based case) does not suggest that a defendant is automatically liable.
A strict liability case can fall short or be defended successfully in a variety of ways. The defendant can demonstrate:
- The plaintiff used the goods in a manner that they understood (or should have understood) may result in injury or utilized the product despite being aware of the fault (“presumption of the risk”)
- The plaintiff’s own negligent acts led to or were the sole cause of the damage. For instance, utilizing the product in a way, it was not authorized
- Another individual or entity interfered with the product to the degree that the product was not the actual cause of the damage
Forms Of Product Defects
Once it comes to product defects, there are three primary types: manufacturing flaws, design flaws, and insufficient warnings.
- Manufacturing defect — is a type of fault that is specific to the product supplied to the plaintiff, i.e., something went terribly wrong during the production process, and the guilt only impacted that product (or a particular product’s batch, as with a recall)
- Design flaw — is anything intrinsic in the structure of the entire product line, rendering every product marketed unacceptably unsafe for the target purpose
- Insufficient warnings — Lastly, strict liability occurs when a defendant fails to adequately warn customers of less-than-apparent dangers associated with the product’s usage
Contact An Experienced Attorney
Whenever a product liability case produces the desired outcome for the plaintiff, he/she may be eligible for reimbursement for the injuries associated costs.
These damages may also incorporate burial expenses (in case of wrongful death), lost income, suffering and pain, past and future healthcare costs, etc.
Consult with an expert Car Accident Attorney today for a more precise estimate of your claim’s worth. To get started, call (928) 723-0088 today.