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MAIN Arrow to Home Life Home Legal Guide Arrow to Personal Injury Personal Injury Arrow to Product Liability Product Liability

Product liability law governs consumer protection from dangerous or defective products from manufacturers or distributors, wholesalers or retailers.

Serious injury from automobile defects, dangerous baby gear, unsafe toys, faulty medical devices, or lethal pharmaceuticals are the types of cases that often make headlines.

For that reason, product liability law is probably the most familiar to consumers and laypersons. Yet product liability may cover anything from a door lock failure to a defective kitchen appliance.

In the US, laws vary from state to state regarding who may be responsible down the supply chain. Depending on the jurisdiction, the burden of proof may either weigh more heavily on the injured party or on the company who brought the product to market.

In either case, published literature is often the sticking point for presenting a product liability case in court. If product labels, user manuals, or instrudtions fail to reasonably warn consumers of inherent dangers, then the product manufacturer may be deemed liable for monetary damages. Sometimes, product dangers may begin at the design phase, in which case the original patent is brought is presented as evidence of the product's inherent ability to cause harm.

Be warned, however, that apart from a class action lawsuit (in which a law firm represents many injured parties) a commitment to time and expense is necessary when suing a company as an individual, especially when going up against a corporate giant with a large legal war fund at its disposal.

Around the Web, find out more about product liability law with more information on famous or landmark cases, consumer's legal rights under the law, as well updates on the latest product recalls ....

also see -> Car lemon laws | Toy safety tips

More about product liability law around the Web:

Products Liability Law: an overview
- Check out a discussion on what defines product liability in the US with related resources explaining negligence and the Uniform Commercial Code, from the Cornell University Law School.

Product Liability Law - This FindLaw guide includes a brief overview and the basis for liability law, a definition of "unavoidably unsafe" products, and information on time limits for filing product liability cases by US state.

Help Center - Defective & Dangerous Products - guide to dangerous consumer products and autos, what to do in the event of an accident, how to stay safe, and related headlines.

A Short History of Product Liability Law - An essay chronicling its origins, citing 19th century landmark cases, and how liability law has evolved to the present day.


The information provided on these pages is intended as reference
only and does not constitute professional legal advice.


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