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Every day you interact with hundreds if not thousands of products from kitchen appliances, furniture, vehicles, medicines, beauty products, and the list can go on and on. Often you do not question the safety of the products you use. Unfortunately, some products can harm you or your loved ones.
According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), product liability lawsuits ranked first in the type of liability lawsuit with the highest awards. So yes, you can sue a manufacturer if a faulty product harms you.
This post highlights some important facts about product liability you may need to know.
The Basics of Product Liability Law
Product liability law focuses on the responsibility of manufacturers, other people, and businesses in a product’s distribution chain. Under product liability law, manufacturers are liable if their product is faulty and causes injury or damage.
Unlike other personal injury lawsuits, you do not need to prove negligence in a product liability lawsuit. Product liability lawsuits operate on the strict liability doctrine, which holds manufacturers and sellers strictly liable for injuries caused by defective products.
There is no requirement that the victim of a defective product is the owner of the product to file a claim. You can still sue even when the product is borrowed or if you suffer injuries from a product used by another person.
A perfect example would be working on a lawn where another person uses a faulty lawn mower that causes you injuries. In that case, you can file a lawsuit against its manufacturer, distributor, or seller.
Some Faulty Products Could Cost Lives
Unfortunately, there are circumstances where the safety of a product could be a matter of life and death. A good example is when a drug supposed to work in a certain way fails or produces a countereffect.
One faulty product involving life-saving devices that have come into the limelight recently is EpiPens which fails to work as expected. An EpiPen is an epinephrine auto-injector often prescribed to patients exhibiting hyper-allergic reactions.
Under normal circumstances, the EpiPen should deliver a dose of epinephrine that is enough to reverse an allergic reaction. Unfortunately, some EpiPens fail to work as expected, putting the lives of the patients that put their trust in its effectiveness at the risk of suffering life-altering conditions or even death.
If you have suffered harm from a faulty EpiPen or someone you know has, you may want to talk to an EpiPen lawyer. Besides offering guidance on what to do when EpiPen fails, a lawyer will help you file a lawsuit if they determine that you have a case.
Who Can Be Held Liable for a Faulty Product?
Several factors can determine who can be held liable for a faulty product. In some cases, the product manufacturer is liable if a product is defective. However, other parties, such as the product’s seller, distributor, or marketer, can have liability.
1. Manufacturer Liability
In the EpiPen’s case, Mylan, the auto-injector manufacturer, is liable for injuries or damages resulting from the product’s malfunction because the fault results from a defective design. Other factors that would place liability on the manufacturer include confusing user instructions and using cheap material to produce a product.
2. Retailer, Distributor, and Marketer Liability
The manufacturer has a considerable responsibility to ensure the safety of their products. But there are situations where other parties, such as the retailer and the distributor, may be liable for damages resulting from a faulty product.
For example, if they sold a product, they should have known it was faulty but were negligent in confirming its safety.
There are also circumstances where the marketer could be held liable for damages, for example, if they misrepresent the facts in their advertising, like failing to mention the hazards that could result from using a product.