Defective Products



Products liability law deals with the liability of any party or all parties involved with the manufacture of a product for damages caused by it. Products liability claims can be based on negligence, strict liability, or breach of warranty of fitness depending on where the claim originates. Most of the time, products liability is considered a strict liability offense. This means that the plaintiff only has to prove that there is a defect in the product. Then, the manufacturer or supplier causing the damages is considered to be 100% responsible regardless of any degree of carefulness on their part or any lack of care by the consumer, nullifying any possibility of comparative or contributory negligence.

There are three types of product defects that can incur liability for manufacturers and suppliers: design defects, manufacturing defects, and defects in marketing.

Design defects are inherent defects that exist before the product is manufactured. Manufacturing defects occur during the construction or production of the product, and defects in marketing involve improper instructions for safe use or operation of the product and/or failures to warn consumers of latent dangers in the product.

Products defects not only cover tangible products, like an automobile, but also intangibles (e.g., gas, asbestos or other chemical substance), naturals (e.g., pets), real estate (e.g., house or land) and writings (e.g., navigation charts).

A lot of people know that the manufacturer would be held liable for damages and injuries caused by a defective product. But, most people don't know that sellers of the product (including everyone between the manufacturer and reseller, such as wholesalers and distributers) may also be liable for the damages even if they didn't know of or cause the defect.

Once a product that is wholly or partly manufactured in a foreign country is sold in the United States, anyone involved with the manufacture or sale of the product becomes subject to the laws of the U.S. so, it is possible to sue the foreign company for damages caused by the defective product.

Each state has a specified period of time in which you have to file your suit. This time period is called a statute of limitation. The statute of limitation typically begins on the date the injury occurred. However, some states have a clause, called a delayed discovery, where the statute of limitation doesn't begin until you've discovered the injury. This is an important protection because in some cases you won't know about an injury for months or even years. A couple of examples would be leaky breast implants or the development of cancer or other illness due to exposure to asbestos, toxic mold or some other toxic substance.

Buyers, users, and even bystander can potentially sue for damages or injuries suffered caused by defects in goods purchased because a manufacturer can be held liable if the product in question has a defective condition that makes it unreasonably dangerous to the user or consumer. If you've been injured or become ill due to a product defect, contact the law firm of KOTLAW.

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