Types of Product Liability Lawsuits
When determining if a product liability lawsuit can be filed for your case, our attorneys at Nelson & Nelson will first identify which type of defective product claim can be considered. We will either use the theory of strict liability or negligence and use the particulars of your case to ensure it meets the criteria for one or the other lawsuit.
Product liability cases are most often claimed under the theory of strict liability rather than negligence. Those who are injured as a result of a defective product must only prove that the defect actually exists and their injuries were the direct result of that defect. If and when the defect does exist, the manufacturer could be strictly liable for damages even if the manufacturing process was careful and considerate.
It is important to note that strict liability requires that the product was purchased in the chain of distribution because anything bought second-hand would not be eligible for strict liability claims. Through the chain of distribution (manufacturer through the retailer), one or up to all parties in the chain could be liable for the defective product.
When it comes to claims of negligence, carelessness in the design or production of an item must be shown. Proving negligence requires a bit more work on the plaintiff in that it must first be shown that the company who made the product has a duty to sell a safe product and did not carry out this duty. The “breach of duty” necessitates that the injured party show that the company knew (or should have known) the product had a problem and the problem caused the injuries.
In order for the negligence case to be pursued, the injured parties must prove:
- The plaintiff was injured or suffered losses
- The product is defective
- The defect was the actual and proximate cause of the injury
- The product was being used as intended
Manufacturer negligence can occur at various stages of the product’s development, including:
- Blueprint development and review
- Foreseeing potential uses of the product
- Machine maintenance within the factory
- Inspection and testing
- Product release
There are many other parts of the manufacturing process that could result in a defective product, so it is essential that injured parties seek the legal advice of experienced product liability attorneys who can investigate the claim and figure out where the defect may have started. The attorneys at Nelson & Nelson have more than 40 years of experience investigating various products and successfully representing clients — let us help you get the compensation you deserve!