Most of the legal claims for the injuries caused by defective or dangerous products are governed by the strict liability rules. Product liability claims are made when you or a loved one is injured as a result of the use of defective or dangerous products. Product liability claims make a major part of the overall personal injury claims all over the U.S. We, at Christopher Jackson Law, have seasoned personal injury attorneys in Kentucky who can help you with your product liability claims and compensation.
What is Strict Product Liability?
Strict product liability, in simple words is a legal rule that makes the manufacturer, distributor, or seller of a defective or dangerous product responsible for the injury caused by it to the consumer even if they did everything they could to make sure the product was not defective.
Under strict product liability, the behavior of the defendant does not matter. When you are proving fault in an ordinary injury case, considering the standard conduct of the defendant is essential. To hold the defendant responsible for the injury, they need to have behaved in a manner that is below of what a normal, reasonable and average person would have done. However, in case of a strict liability, the conduct of the defendant is not considered. Many states have replaced the standard negligence rules with strict product liability rules because the plaintiffs in these cases could not win their cases even if they were injured by the product without any of their own fault. The main reason for this was that it was too difficult to prove the behavior and conduct of the defendant was not per standard or that the defect was caused by nothing else. State and court legislatures recognized that this was not a really good public policy as the innocent plaintiffs were the ones who were suffering. Thus, the strict product liability rules took the form of a law.
Things to Prove in a Strict Liability Case
If a plaintiff wants to win in a strict product liability case, here are the things that they need to prove.
· The product that caused the injury was sold in a condition that was unreasonably dangerous
· The seller intended and expected that the product reaches the consumer in its present form and without any changes to it
· Either the plaintiff or their property was injured as a result of the defective product
Is Strict Product Liability Automatic Liability?
Just because there are lesser things for the plaintiff to prove in a strict product liability case, it does not mean that the defendant in automatically held liable for the injury. There are many ways through which the case can be defended successfully by the defendant. Here are some of them.
· The product was used by the plaintiff in a way that they knew could lead to an injury
· The plaintiff used the product despite knowing about the defect and the potential risk it posed to them
· The carelessness and negligence of the plaintiff was one of the causes or the main cause that the accident occurred and the plaintiff was injured
· The product was used by the plaintiff in a way for which it was not intended
· An interaction of a person or an event contributed to the injury to the plaintiff and the product was itself not the real cause of the injury
Product Defects - The Types
There are three main kinds of defects in a product that can lead to a product liability claim. These are:
Manufacturing Defect: This is the defect that is limited to the product that was sold to the plaintiff only. Something might have gone wrong when the product was being manufactured, and the effect of the problem was limited to only some of the product in the entire lot.
Design Defect: A design defect in a product is the one that is inherent in the entire product line and the entire product range is unsafe to be used because of a defect in the design of it. Each product sold under this design is defective and can potentially harm the user.
Inadequate Warnings: Strict liability also applies to the products in which the defendant was not able to provide adequate warnings for the less than obvious risks posed by the product to the user.
Suing in a Strict Product Liability Case
You can sue three parties in a product liability case:
· The manufacturer
· The distributor
· The retailer
The obvious defendants are the manufacturers as they are the ones who are creating the product or assembling it. However, since strict liability does not entail the behavior of the parties involved in the selling of the consumer products, you can also sue the distributors and retailers of the product under strict liability. Thus, a plaintiff can sue the wholesaler who received the product from the manufacturer and passed it on to the retailer who then passed them on the consumer without checking the product or making any alterations to it. The main reason behind this rule was the fact that it was difficult for the plaintiff to prove that who was the main culprit in the supply chain that made the product reachable for the consumer.
If you are in Kentucky and are looking for an experienced product liability attorney, you can get in touch with us at859-261-1111. We offer free consultation and have highly experienced attorneys who can take up your case and ensure that you get the compensation you deserve in these cases.