Product liability is the legal responsibility of manufacturers and sellers to buyers, users and bystanders for damages or injuries suffered because of defects in goods. Product liability can occur at any point along the chain of production and distribution. In turn, the manufacturer, wholesaler and retailer all may be held responsible for injury caused by a product.
In any jurisdiction, a person must prove a product is defective. Three types of product defects incur liability in manufacturers and suppliers.
Strict liability: A plaintiff is allowed to fully recover from an injury caused by a product without having to prove any misconduct by the defendant. The plaintiff must prove only that the injury was caused by a defective product manufactured or sold by the defendant. This is the most common product liability case.
Breach of warranty: The defendant negligently failed to warn the plaintiff about the dangers of the product. Types of breach of warranty include:
Negligence: The plaintiff must establish:
It is more difficult for a plaintiff to recover under a theory of negligence.
Last update: Sept. 25, 2008