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Products liability law aims to protect consumers when products containing defects cause damage. Under this law, the manufacturers of the defective product are considered liable for any harm caused to consumers during their usage of the product.
Design defects are defects that are inherent to the product, existing before it is even manufactured. Manufacturing defects, on the other hand, occur during the construction and/or production phase. Defects in marketing involve improper product safety information.
Products liability law is governed by tort law. There is no federal products liability law. However, most states have adopted Article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), which deals with the sale of goods.
Frequently Asked Questions
- I think I may have a products liability claim. How can I prove my case?
Though the rules vary from state to state, most states will require you to prove that the product was unreasonably dangerous, that using the product caused an injury, and that the injury you sustained was a direct result of the defect found in the product.
- What are some examples of a product defect?
Many people think the term “product defect” can apply only to items such as children's toys, household equipment, and automobiles, but defects can also be found in chemical substances, real estate, and writings.
- In addition to the manufacturer, can the store that sells a defective product also be held liable?
Yes. Sellers of the product most certainly can be held liable if they do not take proper steps to inspect the safety of the product.
- I was injured by a foreign-made product. Can I still sue?
Yes. Once a product that is manufactured in a foreign country is sold here in the U.S., all parties involved with the manufacturing or sale of that product become subject to our country's laws.
- How long do I have to file my claim?
The length of time you have to file your claim varies according to which state you live in. While the statute of limitations on product liability cases generally begins on the date your injury occurred, some states have a “delayed discovery clause” in which the statute of limitations doesn't begin until you've discovered the injury.
- What kind of damages are recoverable in a products liability case?
A successful products liability case will entitle the plaintiff to compensatory damages, lost time from work, and property damage resulting from his/her use of the defective product. His/her attorney may also be able to recover pain and suffering, consortium, and punitive damages.