What is product liability law, and when is it applicable?
Product Liability is a legal term that refers to a manufacturer’s, distributor’s, and/or seller’s culpability if a customer is harmed by a defective product. Manufacturers are not required to produce products that are accident-proof, but they are required to uphold a set of standards. Additionally, sellers must conduct reasonable inspections of the goods they sell and manufacturers are responsible for testing and inspecting the products they produce.
Product liability lawsuits are made when someone is hurt as a result of a product’s defect. These are based on state laws, which can differ from state to state. They may differ in the following ways:
- Statutes of limitation – the time frame you have in which to take legal action
- Liability standards – what must happen for someone to be responsible for what happened
- Caps – an upper limit of the liability
- Innocent seller statute – under this statute, a seller of a defective product whose only liability exists because it’s part of the product’s distribution chain may be released from liability
- Joint liability – in states with this condition, each party involved in the manufacture and distribution of a faulty product can be independently liable for injuries that occur, to the full extent of the injuries
Who Is Responsible?
The many parties involved in producing, transporting, storing, and selling goods to clients are all included in the distribution chain, and any one of them could be held accountable. Multiple companies may manufacture different product components, while a different company altogether assembles the final product.
Defects can also be described in a variety of ways, including design flaws that were present even before the manufacturing process started. Then there are mistakes that might happen both in the actual manufacturing process and during marketing, such as falsely representing the product.
There are some items, such as medications, weapons, and knives, that cannot be made safe while still serving the original purpose, which is another factor to consider.
In instances that fall under the purview of product liability law, defendants will claim that the injured party has not presented sufficient proof of liability. They could also allege that the defendant mishandled the product or altered it, rendering it faulty.