When a consumer purchases a product, there is a reasonable expectation that the product will serve the consumer in some beneficial way. For example, a new pair of shoes is meant to provide protection of the foot; a new kitchen appliance is used to cook a delicious meal — often with more speed and convenience. While products are designed to improve our lives, it does not always happen this way. In fact, some products are defective and dangerous.
If you have been injured by a defective product, it is important that you understand your rights and your legal options. What is more, while most personal injury claims are brought forth on the basis of negligence, product liability claims are often pursued under a theory of strict liability. Here is what you should know.
What Does ‘Strict Liability’ Mean?
Strict liability is one theory of liability. While negligence means the failure to act with the same degree of care that a person of ordinary prudence will demonstrate in a similar situation, strict liability means that a person can be held liable for the damages caused by another even if they did not act negligently. A theory of strict liability in the context of a defective products case means that so long as the plaintiff can prove that the product was defective and that the defect was the cause of their harm, they can hold the manufacturer liable.
Types of Defects that Result in Liability
There are three types of defects that may result in a strict liability claim against a defendant — defective manufacture, defective design, and defective label. A defective manufacturing claim alleges that the product was safely designed, but that something went wrong during the manufacturing process, rendering the product defective. A defective design claim states that the product was inherently flawed in its design. A defective labeling case holds that the product failed to contain a warning label that it should have, rendering the product dangerous.
Other Theories of Liability in a Products Liability Case
Strict liability is the most common theory of liability under which damages are pursued in a products liability case. However, there are two others that may be considered depending on the case and the jurisdiction:
- Negligence. As explained above, negligence is the failure to act with the same degree of care that a person of ordinary prudence would exercise.
- Breach of warranty. Warranties refer to statements that are made or implied by the seller/manufacturer to the buyer of a product. For example, there may be an implied warranty that a product will not be dangerous if it is used according to the product’s directions.
Our Personal Injury Lawyers in New Jersey Can Help
If you have been injured by a defective product, you deserve legal counsel you can trust. At the office of McOmber McOmber & Luber, our personal injury and products liability lawyers are prepared to advocate for you. We have years of experience and a strong reputation behind our name. Call us today to learn more about how we can serve you. We offer free consultations.