Products liability is the area of law that requires manufacturers, distributors and retailers to defend against allegations that a product was defective or did not meet a consumer’s expectations. The purpose of products liability defense is to ensure that your products are vigorously defended from consumers alleging unfounded claims of design defects, manufacturing defects and defects in warnings.
There are three basic legal grounds on which a products liability lawsuit may be brought: negligence, breach of warranty and strict liability.
A negligence case looks to the reasonableness of the company’s conduct. A seller, be it the manufacturer, distributor or retailer needs to demonstrate it exercised reasonable care in designing, manufacturing, inspecting and testing its products. We are here to help you show that you used reasonable care in fulfilling your duties, and are not liable under a negligence theory.
A products liability suit may also be based on a breach of warranty. This is based upon contract law. In sales contracts there are express and implied warranties that the product perform for the purpose for which it was sold. When a consumer alleges a violation of warranty, there are many defenses at your disposal, including disclaimers, limitations of liability and the lack of privity of contract. We are here to help you prevent or defend any claims of a violation of warranty.
Under California’s strict products liability law, a consumer must show that the manufacturer or seller was negligent or breached a warranty in order to recover damages for injuries sustained from an allegedly defective product. In a strict liability claim, the consumer must show that: 1) the product was defective, 2) the defect existed prior to the manufacturer releasing the product, and 3) the defect caused the injuries and damages of the consumer bringing suit. There are many preventative practices that can be employed as well as multiple defenses to a lawsuit.
If your company has been accused of manufacturing or selling a defective product, you should seek an immediate consultation with the firm.