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Understanding products liability

Residents in Montana often rely on consumer goods to get through their day. Whether it is a household item, a motor vehicle, a tool, or an electronic, consumers often do not think about the dangers and risks that could potentially exist with their usage. Nonetheless, defects can and do exist, resulting in serious and even fatal consumer injuries.

When a serious injury results from a consumer product, it is important that an injured individual understands what steps could be taken to protect his or her rights and interests. A products liability claim could be a vehicle through which the consumer can hold the negligent party accountable and even recover compensation for losses and damages.

In most cases, product liability claims place liability on manufacturers or sellers. This includes product manufacturers, the manufacturer of component parts, the party that assembles and installs the product, the wholesaler, and the retail store that sold the product to the consumer.

There are three types of defects that can serve as the basis for a product liability case. A design defect occurs when a defect was present in a product from the very beginning. This happens even before the product is manufactured when there is something in the design of the product that is inherently unsafe for consumers. A manufacturing defect occurs during the manufacturing or assembly process. Finally, a marketing defect happens when there are flaws in the way a product was marketed. This could include improper labeling, insufficient instructions, or even inadequate safety warnings.

When a defective product harms a consumer, it is important to understand how the incident could have prevented. In some instances, trying to figure this out can lead to the discovery of negligence. If so, then an injured consumer may want to consider taking legal action in hopes of recovering compensation for their damages.

Source: Findlaw.com, "What is Product Liability?" accessed May 14, 2017

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