The Liability of Merchants in Product Liability Claims
You or someone you love has been injured while using or exposed to a consumer product. The product may have been poorly designed or manufactured, or it may not have carried sufficient warnings about potential hazards. Can you bring a lawsuit against the merchant who sold you the item, or must you file your lawsuit against the manufacturer or designer?
The Different Types of Product Liability
There are generally three grounds for bringing a product liability claim:
- Dangerous or defective design of a product—The design of a product may fail to reasonably consider the risk of injury. For example, a dresser may be unnecessarily top-heavy and inclined to fall over on a person.
- Dangerous or defective manufacture of a product—A manufacturer may use substandard materials, fail to install essential components, or have inadequate quality control standards. Children’s products that contain high amounts of lead would constitute a manufacturing defect.
- Negligence in marketing a product—This involves a failure to adequately warn consumers or potential users of known hazards or risks related to the product. Examples include pharmaceutical products that don’t advise consumers of potential side effects.
Who Is Potentially Liable for Injuries Caused by a Dangerous or Defective Product?
In a product liability claim, any party within the chain of manufacture and distribution may potentially be liable for damages. That includes the designer, manufacturer, distributor, wholesaler and retailer. Specifically, when a retailer offers a product for sale, there’s an implied warranty that the product is safe. As a general rule, however, you must use the product for its intended purpose or in the way it was intended to be used, unless you can show that the defendant knew about a non-conforming use and failed to adequately warn consumers of the risks involved with that type of use.
Contact the Law Office of Howard D. Popper
At the Law Offices of Howard D. Popper, we can help protect your rights. For a free initial consultation to discuss your options after any type of personal injury, contact our office online or call 973-659-4144 to set up an appointment. We have offices in Morristown and Newton.
We handle all personal injury claims on a contingent fee basis. You won’t pay any attorney fees unless we recover damages for your losses.