What is Product Liability?
Products liability is a personal injury claim that applies to injuries, deaths, or property damage caused by a product or device available to the public. While in car accident claims, you would need to show the other party acted negligently, that’s not the case in products liability claims.
These lawsuits aim to compensate those injured or killed or owners of property damaged by products. The victim used it as it was intended to be used and as it’s marketed and advertised, but harm happened anyway.
Products liability lawsuits put the costs of these unexpected and unwarranted injuries on those making money from them. They also encourage manufacturers to make safer products and use better, more accurate instructions and warnings.
Generally, product liability cases boil down to one or more of these allegations:
- Design defects: The product’s design is intrinsically dangerous for its intended use, no matter how well it’s manufactured
- Manufacturing defects: The manufacturing or assembly process is defective, so a product that might be safe and useful “on paper” is dangerous to users
- Failure to warn: The product is sold without sufficient labeling, instructions, or safety warnings. If the public isn’t told of possible dangers and users aren’t warned about them, if that risk of harm is realized, the user should be compensated for resulting injuries and financial losses
In negligence cases, parties who made serious mistakes that led to the injury pay compensation. In products liability actions, a plaintiff can be successful if he or she shows the defendant put a defective product into the marketplace and it caused injuries.
What is Kentucky Law for These Cases?
Kentucky statute defines a “product liability action” as any legal claim brought for or on account of personal injury, death, or property damage caused by or resulting from any product’s:
Other issues include the fact that a manufacturer is liable if, before the accident:
- The product is used in its original, unaltered, and unmodified condition
- The user changes the product according to the manufacturer’s specifications or instructions
- The product becomes dangerous after ordinary wear and tear
A manufacturer won’t be liable:
- When the user fails to perform routine care and maintenance
- Even if the product is defective or the manufacturer is at fault, if the user made an unauthorized product change or failed to use ordinary care when using it and that was a substantial cause of the accident and the injury or property damage
Non-manufacturers can be liable for harm under Kentucky law under certain circumstances:
- If a wholesaler, distributor, or retailer who distributes or sells a product can show it was sold in its original condition or package or in the same condition as when it was received, they won’t be liable just because they distributed or sold the product
- An exception to this rule is there can be liability if the wholesaler, distributor, or retailer breached a warranty or it knew or should have known the product was defective or unreasonably dangerous to the user
As you can see, these cases can be complex. If you’re seriously injured by a product, device, or machine, call our office so we can discuss if you may have a case against those selling the item.
What are Examples of Product Liability Cases?
These cases are only limited by the products, how they injured people and property, and what caused them to be defective:
- Johnson & Johnson is accused of causing customers’ cancer by selling talcum powder contaminated with asbestos
- Ford was sued for providing defective tires on its vehicles and for airbags that don’t deploy during accidents
- Ryobi was sued because their table saws lacked safety devices that could prevent a user’s fingers from being cut
Lawsuits may be brought against parties for any dangerous defective product if it causes injuries or property damage.
Schedule A Free Consultation — Contact Us Today
You might have a valid compensation claim if you or a loved one suffered an injury or extensive property damage due to a dangerous or defective product. Schedule a free initial consultation where you can discuss your case with an experienced product liability attorney. Call 855-385-9532 or contact us online to reach our office in Louisville.