Product liability is the area of law in which manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, retailers, and others who make products available to the public are held responsible for the injuries those products cause.
The claims most commonly associated with product liability are negligence, strict liability, breach of warranty, and various consumer protection claims.
A products liability claim is usually based on one or more of the following causes of action:
- design defect,
- manufacturing defect,
- a failure to warn.
The claims may succeed even when products were used incorrectly by the consumer, as long as the incorrect use was foreseeable by the manufacturer (or other party in the "supply chain").
In general, products liability claims are based not on negligence, but rather on strict liability. Under the theory of strict liability, a manufacturer is held liable regardless of whether it acted negligently. It allows recovery for an injured customer who might be in a difficult position to prove what a manufacturer did or did not do wrong in its design or manufacturing process.
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