Product Liability - Is There Any Way Out For Manufacturers of Defective Products?
Product liability lawsuits are brought by injured individuals against the manufacturer of a product to recover compensation for injuries caused by the defective product. There are tens of thousands of fatalities each year due to defective products and approximately 70,000 to 80,000 lawsuits are filed each year against manufacturers of allegedly defective products.
Product Liability Defenses
The defenses available to manufacturers of allegedly defective products vary from state to state, but some common defenses include:
- Assumption of risk – injured individual was aware of potential danger of using product in prescribed method, yet continued to use the product
- Comparative fault or contributory negligence – injured individual contributed in some capacity to the injury caused by the product
- Failure to follow instructions or warnings – injured individual was aware of instructions and warnings but failed to comply
- Misuse – injured individual improperly used the product thereby causing injury
- Statute of limitations – injured individuals may have a certain time limit to bring their claims before their right to recover is ultimately lost
- State of the art – manufacturer could not have known of inherent risks of the product or updated designs were unavailable to the manufacturer at the time of sale or manufacture
If a manufacturer of an allegedly defective product successfully asserts one of the aforementioned product liability defenses, the injured individual's damage recovery may be limited or non-existent.
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