The manufacture, marketing, and sale of products is governed by various state and federal laws. There is also a Model Uniform Products Liability Act which was drafted by the United States Department of Commerce for use by the states on a voluntary basis. Products liability law deals with the legal responsibility of all parties involved with the manufacture, sale and use of a product that causes harm to a user. Product liability claims are generally based upon principals of negligence but can also be based on theories of strict liability or breach of warranty. Thomsen Holman Wheiler PLLC can assist to explain this liability.
Generally, claims based on strict liability assert that the product was abnormally dangerous when it was sold to the product user and that the injured person should only have to show that the product was defective and caused the complained of harm. There are, generally speaking, several types of product defects: (1) design defects; (2) manufacturing defects; and (3) marketing defects. Sometimes, all three defects are alleged to exist in a product.
Design defects are problems with the product that existed before it was manufactured. Manufacturing defects occur during the construction or production of the product and are generally a deviation from the planned design of the product. Defects in marketing include improper instructions and/or a failure to provide proper warnings. Product liability claims can be brought against both the manufacturer and seller of the product. Even products that are made entirely outside the United States can subject the foreign manufacturer to liability within the United States. Whether the seller is ultimately responsible for damages caused by a product will depend upon the seller’s knowledge of the product and its alleged defects.
Each state has its own statute of limitations-the time by which a claim must be filed or it is lost. Occasionally, more than one statute may apply depending upon the type of claim being made. The time period generally starts to run from the date the injury or harm occurred. However, some states have a discovery rule that delays the starting of the statutory period until the harm or injury is discovered. The discovery rules generally have limitations as well. Buyers, users, and bystanders can potentially sue for damages or injuries suffered by a defective product. The attorneys at Thomsen Holman Wheiler PLLC have experience handling claims against manufacturers and sellers of products. We have defended and prosecuted product liability law claims. If you have been injured by a defective product or if you are facing a claim that your product injured someone, we would be happy to visit with you.