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Legal Responsibility in Product Liability Claims

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A product liability claim is made to hold a manufacturer, distributor, retailer, or other company or business entity legally responsible for a defective item that has been on the market and has harmed a customer or user of the product. When an individual buys certain merchandise, they expect the product will be in good condition and reasonably safe since it has been made available to the marketplace.

Quite frequently, human error can set in and cause serious problems and safety concerns when the manufacturer fails to use sufficient care in the handling of the products, or negligently fails to warn consumers of significant risks of using the product which are not obvious.

Negligence is one form of liability where a manufacturer fails to exercise ordinary care in the production, design or assembly of their product and it causes harm to the consumer. Secondly, breach of express warranty may occur where a manufacturer gave certain warranties with regard to their products and then they failed to fulfill their written promise, claim, or representation. Breach of implied warranty is the claim that the maker or seller implied by distributing the goods that the item was fit for its normal use, but it was not fit. Some states have other types of claims, including "strict liability," in some cases.

Most products need advertising, so manufacturers have the legal responsibility not to be misleading and to warn of certain risks of use. There are requirements for product warnings and labels to be reasonable. However, manufacturers may resort to unethical behavior in pursuit of higher sales of their product, so they may be tempted to lead consumers into a false sense of security. This may result in a misrepresentation in advertising.

To make a claim against a manufacturer for a defective product, you must be able to prove that the particular product in question was already defective upon purchase. The product liability case usually needs experts to prove the defect and causation and are very expensive to handle, and typically they can only be pursued practically where a horrible, permanent injury or death has resulted.

About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper, Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm (VA-NC law offices ) edits the injury law blogs Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard, and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as a pro bono service to consumers.