Product Liability

Definition - What does Product Liability mean?

Product liability refers to the liability of a defective product on any or all parties along the manufacturing chain of that product. The manufacturer, distributors, suppliers and retailers of a product can be held responsible under product liability if the product causes injury to consumers.

Manufacturing, distributing, supplying or retailing a defective product, whether intentionally or unintentionally, is considered a tort in the United States. The area of tort law in the U.S. that holds the manufacturer, distributors, suppliers and retailers of defective products responsible for the injuries caused by that product is known as product liability.

The claims generally associated with product liability include breach of warranty, strict liability and negligence.

Justipedia explains Product Liability

In a product liability lawsuit, the plaintiff is suing a person or entity who sold or manufactured a product, and the product in question injured the plaintiff in some manner that is deemed inexcusable in the eyes of the law. Product liability claims are usually reviewed under strict liability, and are distinguished by three major categories based on the kind of defect:

  1. Defective design: the design of the product itself is flawed
  2. Manufacturing defect: when the product is improperly manufactured
  3. Failure-to-warn defects: a failure to warn the operator of the product of some danger pertaining to the product

In the majority of product liability lawsuits, the plaintiff usually only has to show that the product was defective in some manner.

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