Product liability is when a manufacturer or seller puts a defective product on the market and into the hands of consumers.
Defective and dangerous products seriously injure many people every year. The rules for product liability are different than those for ordinary injury law, which can make it easier to recover damages if you are an injured party.
In order for product liability to be an issue, the product must have been sold on the open market. So anything you would buy at a store could be considered. However, responsibility for the safety of a product lies with the entire distribution chain.
This means that if you’re selling vitamins or any other product from your home, if the product is somehow defective and someone is injured, you may be held legally responsible. Generally, the law requires that a product meet the ordinary expectations of the consumer.
Interestingly, there is no federal liability law. Product liability claims are generally based on state laws and filed under the theories of negligence or breach of warranty. If you are injured by a product, you do not have to have been the purchaser of that product in order to recover damages.
For instance, if you are visiting friends and you have a headache and you’re offered a new bottle of ibuprofen and you become ill from the medicine – you may have a case. If the medicine is proven to be defective, even though you did not purchase it, it makes no difference under the law – you may still have a case.
Product liability cases are very complex, and for this reason you will want an attorney who knows how to handle them. Every state has its own rules and statutes regarding product liability action.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a product and you have questions, please consult our Online Legal Directory for an attorney in your area.