Products liability theory-Part II

Products liability cases are an integral part of consumer rights in Montana. Based on the common law principle of tort law, the onus of proving a liability case rests with the plaintiff and consumer, who must show that the manufacturer or producer of the defective product was responsible for the injury suffered. In some cases, injuries suffered by the consumer may be due to false promises and misrepresentation by the manufacturer.

In many cases, the plaintiff's attorneys will emphasize the false representations present in advertisements that lure prospective customers to buy products. Customers and plaintiffs need to prove that the product was bought due to the false misrepresentation made by the manufacturer. Thus, the promises and words of the producer can give rise to legal claims in Montana's consumer courts.

Three forms of misrepresentation by the producers can lead to a tort claim by a consumer. The plaintiffs first need to prove that the producer committed fraudulent misrepresentation by knowingly exaggerating or lying about the product, which in turn caused the consumer to buy the defective or dangerous product, which then caused injury to the consumer. The intention of the producer is called into question to prove the producer's intent to mislead the consumers, often to increase sales and profits.

Next, the producer may also have been negligent when misrepresenting the product because the quality level of the product was not adequately checked. Even if the producer did not intend to defraud consumers, the producer can still be held liable for negligent misrepresentation and any injury suffered as a result. Lastly, in some cases the courts may deem the product to be so inherently dangerous that the producer is held strictly liable for all foreseeable injuries caused to consumers.


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