Several legal claims can be brought for injuries caused by a defective product. The specific claims available may vary depending on the jurisdiction and the circumstances of the case. Here are some common legal claims that can be pursued in product liability cases:
- Negligence: A negligence claim alleges that the manufacturer, distributor, or seller of the defective product breached their duty of care by failing to exercise reasonable care in designing, manufacturing, or distributing the product. To establish negligence, the injured party must demonstrate that the defendant owed a duty of care, breached that duty, and the breach directly caused their injuries.
- Strict Liability: Strict liability claims do not require the injured party to prove negligence. Instead, they focus on the dangerous condition of the product. Under strict liability, a plaintiff must demonstrate that the product was defective, the defect existed when it left the control of the defendant, and the defect caused their injuries. Strict liability claims can be based on defects in design, manufacturing, or inadequate warnings.
- Breach of Warranty: When a product is sold, implied or express warranties are made to the consumer regarding its quality, fitness for a particular purpose, or safety. If a defective product breaches these warranties, the injured party may have a claim for breach of warranty. This claim can be based on a failure to fulfill promises made about the product or a failure to warn about potential dangers.
- Product Misrepresentation: If the manufacturer, distributor, or seller made false statements or misrepresentations about the product’s safety or capabilities, and the injured party relied on those statements to their detriment, a claim for product misrepresentation may be pursued. This claim focuses on the deceptive or misleading information provided about the product.
- Strict Products Liability: Strict products liability is a legal doctrine that holds manufacturers, distributors, and sellers strictly liable for injuries caused by defective products. It eliminates the need to prove negligence and focuses on the product’s defectiveness and its role in causing harm. Strict products liability typically requires showing that the product was unreasonably dangerous, the defect caused the injuries, and the injured party used the product as intended.
- Class Action Lawsuits: In cases where multiple individuals have suffered injuries due to the same or similar defective product, a class action lawsuit may be filed. A class action allows a group of plaintiffs to collectively pursue their claims against the responsible parties, increasing their strength and efficiency.
It’s essential to consult with a qualified personal injury attorney to determine the appropriate legal claims to pursue based on the specific circumstances of the case. An experienced attorney can evaluate the facts, gather evidence, and guide the injured party in seeking compensation for their injuries and related damages.