Product liability law, generally called "products liability", governs the liability of manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, and vendors for damages caused by dangerous or defective products. The goal of product liability laws is to help protect consumers from dangerous products, while holding manufacturers, distributors, and retailers responsible for putting into the marketplace products that they knew or should have known were dangerous or defective. Depending upon the jurisdiction, the liability of the various parties involved as the product passes from the manufacturer to the consumer will vary.

Product liability claims frequently involve retail items, but can extend to anything that can be sold.

Products Liability and Negligence
A products liability claim is usually based on one or more of the following causes of action:
  • Design defects
  • Manufacturing defects
  • A failure to warn of known dangers or hazards
A legal claim may succeed even when products were used incorrectly by the consumer, as long as the incorrect use was foreseeable by the manufacturer, or other party in the "supply chain."

In general, products liability claims are based not on negligence, but rather on common law theory of negligence. Under the theory of strict liability, a manufacturer is held liable regardless of whether it acted negligently. This theory allows for recovery by an injured customer who might be in a difficult position to prove what a manufacturer did or did not do in its design or manufacturing process. It is presumed that a manufacturer with its deep pockets may be better situated to absorb the cost of liability and would consider such expense in setting price for its products. Some legal commentators consider claims of failure to warn to be based on negligence.

Contact Hoffmeister Doherty & Webb LLC attorneys immediately if you or someone you know has suffered any kind of injury as a result of a defective medical device. You may be entitled to compensation for your physical and/or economic injuries as well as lost time. There is no fee unless we collect money for you. Don't settle for less.

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