By definition, product liability in California law provides legal recourse for those who are victims of defective products. People who sustained injuries caused by an item that was improperly designed, manufactured, or packaged may seek compensation under various different theories. The majority of claimants in a product liability case attempt to recover under the theory of strict liability. When the elements of strict liability are not met, claimants would often resort to alternative theories of negligence, fraudulent misrepresentation, or breach of warranty.
Strict liability is the more preferred theory when it comes to asserting a defective product claim as this does not require a showing fault. This means that there is no need for the plaintiff to prove that the defendant committed a fault. What the plaintiff need to establish instead is that the product or item that caused the injury was indeed defective when it left the hand of the defendant. Once it’s been established, the burden of proof will shift to the manufacturer or the other defendant to show why it shouldn’t be held liable.
Potential Claims & Liable Entities
Not everyone who has been hurt by a manufactured item can bring a strict liability lawsuit with an aim to recover damages. In order for a person to bring a claim, it should have been foreseeable that someone in the position of the plaintiff could have been hurt by a defective item. Customers are not only limited to those who purchased the item. Bystanders who happen to be near the item when there was a malfunction may bring a claim for whatever injuries they have sustained.
When bringing a claim for strict liability, the plaintiff need to have been making an “anticipated use” of the product. This is may be a broad classification and even include activities that are beyond the intended use of the product. A product liability case that is based on strict liability would name multiple defendants. The plaintiff can basically sue everyone that is in the chain of distribution from the time the product was conceived, to the time it was purchased and caused injuries. The liable entities may include the design companies, manufacturers, assembly plants, marketing companies, suppliers, and the retailers.
Establishing a Defective Product
In a product liability case, the existence of a defect that made the product harmful or dangerous need to be proven. And to understand such element, it would help to consider the issues of defectiveness in light of the affirmative duties that the law imposes on manufacturers and sellers of the product. First off, the products are designed to be safe. If the plaintiff can show the availability of an alternative design and its economically feasible, the product that is responsible for the injury would be said to have a design defect.
On the other hand, there are instances when the product is designed to be safe, but such item that caused harm was not made correctly. This is called manufacturing defect. Moreover, when a product was designed and manufactured to be safe, it might still be dangerous. Dangerous products could be sold, however, the consumer need to receive proper instruction and warning. Failure to meet this duty is a way for the product to be found defective.
Products Liability Attorney
Litigating a product liability claim is never easy. It demands not only an ability to make sense out of a complex given data, but the skill and expertise of a trusted Los Angeles Lawyer to explain a product defect to the jury in simple language. If you have incurred injuries due to a defective product, seek help and legal representation.