Product liability is when a manufacturer or seller can be held liable for putting a defective product into the hands of a consumer.
While there is no federal product liability law, various states do have laws on the books regarding product liability. Alabama has a special statute that governs defective products, or product failures, but it must be proven that a defect exists.
So for instance, we are talking about any product – a toy, a gift, a car, even medication that may have harmed you. But in any of these instances, a defect must be proven. A product that simply malfunctions is not a case for product liability.
To prove liability in these cases, it must be shown that the manufacturer knew, or should have known that the product was going to fail, that the design was bad, and that the result would be possible injury to the end users.
In Alabama it is known as a fault-based system. Other states have strict liability laws. If someone puts a product in the stream of commerce and it fails, and someone gets hurt, the manufacturer is automatically liable.
When dealing with a product recall, there is recognition that there was a design defect or failure. However, you must also prove that the defect exists and caused damage in order to recover legally from the manufacturer.
If you have been injured by a defective product and wish to pursue a lawsuit to recover damages, consulting an attorney who specializes in these cases should be your first step.
Some things to keep in mind about these cases:
- You don’t have to be the product user. You may simply have been in the vicinity when a product misfired and were injured. You may still be able to bring a claim.
- You don’t have to be the buyer; the product could be a gift you received.
- Even if you have purchased a used product, you may still be able to bring a claim if it malfunctions and you are injured.
If you have legal questions, please consult our Online Legal Directory to find an attorney in your area.