Thousands of people are injured each year across the United States because of defective or dangerous products. The laws surrounding product liability are much different than the laws surrounding injury law, which makes it easier for injured parties to recover damages incurred.
Product liability is defined as a seller or manufacturer of a product being held liable for placing a defective product in the hands of the public. All sellers of the product along the distribution chain are held liable for a product that causes injury to a consumer. It is required by law in Tennessee for products to meet the consumer’s ordinary expectations.
When it comes to determining who is responsible for a product defect, any entity along the chain of distribution can be held accountable. This includes the manufacturer of the product, component part manufacturer, product installer or assembler, wholesaler and the retail store that sold the product.
The key factor in a products liability case is that the product must have been sold at some point on the market. There is a bit of a catch, though. The person injured by the product does not have to be the one who purchased it in order to recover damages. The sale must happen during the regular course of the supplier’s business, so if someone purchase the product at a yard sale, that seller would likely not be held liable for any injures.
There are three main types of product defects:
– Manufacturing defects, which occur when the product is built.
– Design defects, which occur before the product is built.
– Marketing defects occur when the product is improperly labeled, has inadequate safety warnings or improper instructions for use.
You need to take into account that there are some products on the market that are unavoidably unsafe. For example, electric knives, lighters and other items. If these products were made to be safe to consumers, they would not work and thus serve no purpose on the open market.
There are no federal laws governing products liability, which is why you need to learn the laws in Tennessee regarding such incidents. An attorney is a good source of information on your legal options if you are injured by a defective product.
Source: Findlaw, “What is Product Liability?,” accessed Jan. 12, 2017