Consumer Protection Law | Lemon Law | Products Liability

Products Liability

Products liability is the area of law in which manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, retailers, and others who make products available to the public are held responsible for the injuries those products cause.


Products Liability and Negligence

A products liability claim usually falls into one of three possible types:

  • Design defect,
  • Manufacturing defect
  • Failure to warn.

Dangerous or defective product claims may succeed even when products were used incorrectly by the consumer, as long as the incorrect use was foreseeable by the manufacturer (or other party in the “supply chain“).

Products liability claims are, in general, not based on negligence, but rather on a liability theory called “strict liability.” The difficulties of an injured customer to prove what a manufacturer did or did not do during the design or manufacture of product has led to the development of newer product liability claims such as strict liability. However, some legal scholars consider claims of “failure to warn” to be negligence-based claims.

A basic negligence claim consists of proof of

  1. A duty owed,
  2. A breach of that duty,
  3. That the breach caused the plaintiff’s injury, and
    An injury.

Over time, negligence concepts have arisen to deal with certain specific situations, including negligence per se (using a manufacturer’s violation of a law or regulation in place of proof of a duty and a breach) and res ipsa loquitur (an inference of negligence under certain conditions).