Strict product liability holds those engaged in the business of placing products into the stream of commerce responsible for any injuries that such products may cause. Accordingly, if a person is injured while using a product in a reasonably foreseeable manner, they may be entitled to compensation. Defendants in a strict liability case may include manufacturers, suppliers, distributers, wholesalers, retailers, or commercial lessors. Because there are a variety of defendants and legal theories involved, strict product liability cases tend to be complex.
To recover in a strict product liability case, a plaintiff must prove:
- The injury or damage resulted from a condition of the product manufactured or sold by the defendant
- The condition was unreasonably dangerous
- The condition existed at the time the product left the manufacturer’s control
A manufacturing defect occurs based on a mistake in the manufacturing process. Such products are made unreasonably dangerous by an unintentional flaw. Even when manufacturers exercise reasonable caution and care, they may still be held liable for any manufacturing defect that occurs.
A design defect occurs when a product is unreasonably dangerous due to an intentional design that is inadequate. A plaintiff may prove a design defect by either (1) showing that the danger goes beyond what an ordinary consumer would expect; or (2) showing that the design causes injury, and that the inherent risk of injury is not outweighed by the benefits of the design.
Inadequate Warnings or Instructions
Products may also be found unreasonably dangerous if there is a failure to adequately warn consumers about the danger associated with the product, or adequately instruct the consumer on the product’s proper use. A defendant does not have any duty to warn of risks that are obvious, of risks that the consumer neither knew nor should have known about at the time of the product’s manufacture.
In a strict product liability action, a plaintiff must assert personal injury or damage to other property to recover compensatory damages. Plaintiffs may not recover any damages if the only injury that occurred was damage to the defective product itself.
David A. Axelrod & Associates: Proven Results in Product Liability Cases
David A. Axelrod & Associates has successfully represented clients in product liability cases. In one such case, David A. Axelrod & Associates represented a plaintiff with a claim against a bus manufacturer in connection with a rollover, recovering $3 million for the client. David A. Axelrod & Associates argued that there was a product defect in the chassis and warning mechanism supplied by General Motors Corporation to the manufacturer.