Los Angeles Product Liability Attorney
Explanation of Product Liability, Types of Product Defects &Product Liability Claims
Explanation of Product Liability Law
Product liability is the set of laws that holds all manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, retailers and other persons and business entities that provide products to the general public responsible for any injuries or illnesses their products may cause. Product liability is generally restricted to products that fall under the definition of corporal and tangible personal property, as opposed to intellectual property.
Any consumer who purchases a product has what is called ordinary expectations of that product. It is considered ordinary and reasonable for consumers to expect a product will function as it was advertised, to expect it to be safe to use or, in the case of an inherently dangerous product like a chainsaw, to expect sufficient warnings and instructions accompanying the product to ensure its safe use by a responsible owner. When a product fails to meet the ordinary expectations it is considered defective.
Types of Product Defects
There are three primary types of product defects: design defects, manufacturing defects and failure-to-warn defects.
Product design defects are problems within the design of the product that cause it to be either dangerous or defective. The defects cannot be remedied by even the highest standards of manufacturing.
Product manufacturing defects are flaws in the product that occur during the fabrication or manufacturing process, and may be caused by the use of low quality materials, poor workmanship or shoddy assembly.
Failure-to-warn product defects occur when there is an absence of warnings or instructions accompanying a product that possesses inherent and necessary dangers. Product dangers are considered inherent when neither design adaptations nor manufacturing standards can eliminate their risks.
Types of Product Liability Claims
Product liability claims fall into four categories: negligence, strict liability, breach of warranty and consumer protection claims.
Negligence Claim: In a basic negligence claim, the plaintiff must prove that there was enough of a relationship between the product manufacturer and the consumer for a duty to be owed, that the duty was breached and that this breach of duty directly or partially resulted in injury to the plaintiff.
Strict Liability Product Claim: Strict liability laws hold the manufacturer of any defective product responsible for any injuries that result even if the manufacturers were not themselves negligent during the manufacturing process.
Breach of Warranty Product Liability Claim: Breach of warranty claims apply to injuries that occur when a product is represented one way at the time of sale in the form of an implied or express warranty but subsequently fails to live up to that representation and causes injury or damage as a result.
Implied Warranty Product Liability Claim: An implied warranty is one that is not expressly stated but occurs due to the nature of the transaction between the buyer and the seller. For example, a warranty of merchantability is inherent in any sale and implies that the product will reasonably conform to the average consumer’s expectations of it.
Express Warranty Product Liability Claim: An express warranty is a written or verbal guarantee that specifically lists the performance limits and uses of the product and often explains any instances in which the product can be repaired, replaced or returned at no or minimal cost to the consumer. Both implied and express warranties may carry disclaimers to prevent claims against them or their distributors.
Consumer protection claims involve a wide variety of laws which protect consumers from economic losses due to faulty products such as the famous lemon laws.
Product Liability Injury & Accident Articles