Product Liability Negligence Claims, Product Liability Strict Liability Claims, and Product Liability Consumer Protection Claims
Product Liability Negligence Claims
Product liability negligence claims are one of the more commonly used theories to argue product liability cases in the United States. Manufacturer negligence is often at the crux of a plaintiff’s product liability claim.
Most claims commonly associated with product liability are negligence, strict liability, breach of warranty, and various consumer protection claims. A plaintiff can use more than one kind of claim to try to win their product liability case. Most product liability laws are established and disputed at the state level. Many state laws vary widely compared to other state laws.
When it comes to manufacturing a product, there are usually more than a few different parties involved in this before a product is made available for consumers to use. Something that can make it tricky to prove manufacturer negligence in a product liability claim is because there have been several entities involved in making the final product that injured a consumer. There are designers, manufacturers, assemblers, distributors, and in some cases, the sellers of the products, who may be found responsible, or partially responsible for making a faulty or malfunctioning product available to the public.
Some form of manufacturer negligence is the most common legal theory of product liability. When a plaintiff (and their lawyer) claims that any of the parties involved in the manufacturing or distribution of a product did not fulfill their legal duty to protect consumers, it can be argued that any party involved in this was negligent in their duty. It must be shown that the defendant, or defendants, failed to use ordinary reasonable care in designing, producing, manufacturing, distributing, or in some cases, selling the product. It must also be proved that the guilty party’s failure to do this resulted in the plaintiff’s injury.
When it comes to product liability negligence claims, the experienced legal team at Cohen & Cohen are available to discuss these and to give a free case evaluation any time of the day or night, 365 days a year.
Product Liability Strict Liability Claims
Product liability strict liability claims do not use manufacturer negligence as the cause of a victim’s injuries. These claims tend to focus on the product, usually the malfunction of the product itself.
If a manufacturer was not negligent in making a defective product, the manufacturer may be found guilty of strict liability. Strict liability cases can be easier to prove than negligence because the plaintiff (and their lawyer) do not need to get into the minds of a manufacturer to try to show negligence. Alleging strict liability can show obvious results of defective design, manufacturing, or in the marketing of a product. Under strict liability, the manufacturer is liable if the product is defective, even if the manufacturer is not found negligent in making that product defective.
Strict liability claims do not require a plaintiff to prove that a defendant’s conduct fell below the relevant standard of care. This can give greater protection to a victim of a product liability injury. In the 1940s and 1950s, many U.S. courts decided that it was too much to require seriously injured consumer plaintiffs to prove negligence claims against designers, manufacturers, and distributors or retailers. Part of this came about because the burden of proof could be too much for a plaintiff to prove if an entire industry settled on a somewhat careless standard of conduct. If this were the case, even if a plaintiff was severely injured and it was proven that the defendant(s) caused his or her injuries, the defendant would not be considered guilty of negligence from a legal standpoint. In product liability, claims of negligence often take expert witnesses to prove a defendant’s guilt. If everyone in a particular industry or trade were to say that a defendant’s conduct conformed to the trade or industry’s standard of care, it would be very difficult to prove their negligence.
If you have been injured and may need help with one of the many product liability strict liability claims out there, the dedicated legal team at Cohen & Cohen is available to give you a free case evaluation, today.
Product Liability Consumer Protection Claims
While most product liability consumer protection claims are governed and disputed at the state level, the United States has a variety of both federal and state laws that regulate consumer affairs. These federal laws include but are not limited to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, Truth in Lending Act, Fair Credit Billing Act, and the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. Federal consumer protection laws are typically enforced by the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Food and Drug Administration, and the U.S. Department of Justice.
Many states have adopted the Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act (also referred to as the Uniform Act). The Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act prohibits deceptive trade acts as either unfair or fraudulent business practices, and untrue or misleading advertising. Under the Uniform Act, a plaintiff may be entitled to attorney fees when the defendant, “willfully engaged in the trade practice knowing it to be deceptive.”
As well, the majority of states have a Department of Consumer Affairs that is devoted to regulating certain industries and to protecting consumers who use goods and services from those industries.
Injuries can be difficult to deal with no matter what caused the injury. The grief that is caused by the untimely loss of a loved one can be overwhelming. When one of these was caused by a product, good or service that was purchased in the United States, a victim and their family may be entitled to compensation if is the fault of the designer, manufacturer, assembler, distributor or the party who sold the product, good or service. With all the federal and state laws in place to protect consumers, many of us assume we are protected until we are faced with the harsh reality of an injury or death.
If you think you may need to file one of the many product liability consumer protection claims that get disputed in the United States each year, contact Cohen & Cohen to discuss your situation and to get a free case evaluation.