A product that causes an injury could be viewed as defective or dangerous on one or more of several levels. In Tennessee, people who experience harm may be able to file a lawsuit against the item’s manufacturer. Those who choose to do so must understand which type of claim it will be.
Under Tennessee law, anyone who suffers as the result of a defective product must file a lawsuit within four years of the incident. There is also a statute or repose, which means that no claim may be brought six years after the injury has occurred or 10 years after the product was first purchased.
The first type of claim is one in which the product had a defective design. In these cases, the product posed a risk that should have been known at the time it was manufactured. For example, a company sells sunglasses, which are intended to protect the eyes from the sun’s ultraviolent rays. However, the lenses in the glasses do not provide that level of protection. That would be a design defect.
Another type of claim is one in which there was a defect in the manufacturing of the product. If a medication is produced but tainted with a chemical during the process, it would be considered defective – and dangerous.
Lastly, a failure to adequately warn consumers is a liability. As the Restatement of Torts illustrates, any product that bears a risk that may not be obvious to the user should come with a warning. A substance used to remove paint, for example, should have instructions on how to use it safely and advise that fumes could have side effects.
These cases can be highly complicated, but holding negligent parties accountable is the first step in moving forward after an injury.