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Elements of a products liability claim

A previous post here discussed the recall of many popular child toys from a well-known American retail chain. Recalls are often issued when manufacturers learn of defects or other problems with their goods that may cause harm to the consumers who have bought them. When consumers are hurt or suffer losses as a result of injuries related to dangerous or defective products, those victims may have rights under products liability theories of law to the recovery of their damages.

There are several elements that must be proven in order for a plaintiff to successfully bring a lawsuit based on a products liability claim. First, a plaintiff generally must show that the product was defective in some way. There are several ways that products can be defective, but most commonly a defect will arise either from a problem in the manufacturing process or a problem in the product's design. A product may also be deemed defective if it is marketed in a way that it may be misused in a dangerous or unintended way.

Additionally, the defect that the product suffers from must be found to make the product unreasonably dangerous. Many products could pose a danger to their users, but when the products are used properly those dangers can be easily avoided. In many cases an unreasonably dangerous product may present harm to a consumer without the consumer even knowing that the potential harm is present.

Finally, a products liability claim can be brought against practically any entity that is involved in putting the product into consumers' hands. This can include but is not limited to: the manufacturers of the products' components; the manufacturers of the actual products; the distributors of the products; and the retailers of the products.

Consumers who are harmed by an unreasonably dangerous product may need to get more information to explore if a claim is actionable. Recalls can impact victims' rights to pursue legal action against stores and product manufacturers.

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