Product liability refers to a product’s manufacturer or seller being held legally liable for the safety of their product or good. This responsibility lies with all parties in the chain of distribution to you—including the store / reseller / retailer where you ultimately purchased the product. The law basically states that a product must meet your general expectations of safety. When–or if– it doesn’t, and you or a loved one are harmed or injured as a result, they are liable.
This liability can extend to component parts and includes the product’s manufacturing, design, and even marketing (as in the case of improperly labeled products, products without appropriate warnings and cautions, etc.).
There is no federal product liability law. Typically, product liability claims are based on state laws, and brought under the theories of negligence, strict liability, or breach of warranty. In addition, a set of commercial statutes in each state, modeled on the Uniform Commercial Code, will contain warranty rules affecting product liability (additional information on product liability law from Find Law).
Important to note in this area of law, it used to be that you had to be the one who had purchased the product in the marketplace. That is no longer the truth. Now, typically, any person who uses a product they expect to be safe can seek legal remedy for injury, as long as the product was sold to someone at one time.
Because there are so many nuances to product liability law, if you have been injured from a product, please contact us and let us help you determine if you have a claim. When you buy something you expect to be safe – or about which you have any set expectations through their packaging and marketing – and it’s not, you have a right to remedy if you or someone you care about is injured. Don’t try to figure all of this out for yourself and potentially not get the justice you deserve. We will help you through every step of this process.