Manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, and retailers can be held responsible if their products injure someone. Negligence, breach of warranty, strict liability, and consumer protection claims are the most common product liability claims. States have jurisdiction over product liability, and therefore, laws differ across the nation. There are different elements which are required to be proven in order for a claim to be successful.
The claim is generally based on a design defect, failure to warn, or manufacturing defect. A claim can even be filed if the product was used incorrectly as long as someone along the supply chain could have reasonably foreseen the incorrect use. If the incorrect use is foreseeable, it is the responsibility of the supplier to warn the consumer.
Cases of product liability are usually based on strict liability, not negligence. A manufacturer does not have to act negligently in order for him to be liable based on strict liability theory. Since it is extremely challenging to prove the manufacturer’s actions during the manufacturing process, it is very difficult for an injured customer to file a claim based on negligence. The legal system assumes that the manufacturer is in a better financial situation to pay for an injury and claims that companies must consider an injury expense when setting a price for the product.
Failure to warn can be based on negligence. To prove this, one must show that the responsible party had a duty which they breached and an injury resulted which would not have occurred if the responsible party had acted upon their duty.