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Product Liability Claims: What you Should Know

product liability

In the Kansas City area and across the nation, defective and dangerous products are the cause of thousands of injuries every year. Unfortunately, many products go to market that are defective and ultimately cause serious injuries.

When serious injuries are caused by supposedly safe products, what do you do?


What is Product Liability?

Product liability refers to a manufacturer or seller being held liable for placing a defective product into the hands of a consumer. Responsibility for a product defect that causes injury lies with all sellers of the product who are in the distribution chain.

Serious and catastrophic injuries because of defective or dangerous products typically result in a product liability claim to obtain compensation for these injuries.

It is the responsibility of the manufacturer to make sure you, the consumer, are safe when using their product or, at least, warn of potential dangers.


What are the Types of Defects?

Manufacturing defects are those that occur in the course of a product’s manufacture or assembly. These defects may occur because of things such as:

  • Inadequate quality control
  • Lack of oversight in the manufacturing process
  • Lack of safety tests
  • Unknown safety defects

No matter what kind of care a manufacturer takes throughout the manufacturing process, the company is liable for defects that occur as a result of faulty construction.

Design defects are in a product from the beginning, even before it is manufactured. In other words, something in the design is inherently flawed or unsafe, creating a hazard for potential users of the product.

Whereas manufacturing defects are typically found in only a portion of the products’ produced, design defects are typically found in all the manufactured products.

Again, manufacturers can and should be held accountable for such design flaws.

Failure to Warn and/or Maketing is a third category. This occurs when a manufacturer is aware of the potential dangers but does not provide adequate warnings to consumers to ensure they understand the risks should they use the product and that the product is used in the right manner.

We see this a lot with medications because they may contain improper labels, insufficient instructions or inadequate warnings.

According to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) a warning label should:

  • Inform the consumer of existing hazards
  • Inform the consumer of the severity of the risk involved with the particular product
  • Inform the consumer of the effects of the hazard
  • Inform the consumer how to avoid the hazard

Who Can Be Held Liable in Product Liability Claims?

Liability for dangerous and/or defective products could lie with anyone in the product’s chain of distribution, such as:

  • The product manufacturer
  • A manufacturer of defective component parts
  • The one responsible for assembling or installing the product
  • The wholesaler
  • The retail store that sold the product to the consumer

This is where your product liability attorney will offer guidance.


What makes for a successful product liability claim?

Your product liability attorney will help you build your case to:

  • Show that your injury was a direct result of using the defective product.
  • Prove that the product had either a manufacturing defect, design defect or the company failed to warn of the risks.
  • Prove that the defect was the actual and proximate cause of your injury.
  • Demonstrate that the product was being used in a way the manufacturer intended or in a way the manufacturer could have foreseen a reasonable person to use it.

The legal team at Nash & Franciskato is well-versed in the laws that protect consumers against the harm posed by defective products. When you have questions, contact us for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.


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Past results afford no guarantee of future results and each case is different and is judged on its own merits.