Dangerous products harm many Americans each year, and when they do, victims generally can seek compensation for their losses from the companies that put those products into their hands. This Montana personal injury law blog has addressed topics related to products liability in the past, and this week will explore a significant exception to products liability law: the unavoidably unsafe product.
Products that suffer from defects in their design, marketing or manufacturing can make their producers liable for the injuries those products inflict upon unsuspecting consumers. However, some products, even when properly designed, marketed and manufactured, still present dangers to consumers. When the benefits of these products outweigh the risks that they present to consumers and they are released to the public, they may be considered unavoidably unsafe products.
There are four parts to the analysis to determine if a product is unavoidably unsafe. First, an investigation will be made into whether the product was designed and manufactured without mistakes. Second, if the product is mistake-free, then a review of the product's marketing will be made. Products that do not sufficiently warn of their dangers may not qualify as unavoidably unsafe products.
Third, if a product does not possess mistakes in its design, manufacturing or marketing, then an assessment will be made that determines if the product's benefits outweigh the risks that it poses. If the benefits outweigh the risks, then the final determination will be made, which considers if there are any alternatives to the product that are available and do not present the same dangers to consumers.
If a product passes these four considerations, then it may be deemed an unavoidably unsafe product. Individuals who are harmed by the expected dangers of these products may not have rights to pursue their losses under products liability law. For more information on products liability cases and unavoidably unsafe products, readers may wish to speak with their personal injury attorneys.