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The basics of strict liability law explained

On Behalf of | Mar 23, 2021 | Defective Products

While consumers in Bay Shore, New York, accept some risk for buying products, they expect the items to be reasonably safe. A defective product may cause serious injuries, such as lacerations or broken bones, that need medical treatment. Plaintiffs must prove they didn’t cause their injuries through negligence, but strict product liability may apply.

Definition of strict liability

Strict liability laws mean that a manufacturer can get sued regardless of how its product caused an injury. The reason for this law is if a consumer had to prove the case, he or she would have a smaller chance of winning claims.

A person isn’t required to prove that a product caused his or her injury. While makers of products are commonly the primary defendants, distributors or retailers may also get sued if they neglect to inspect items.

However, strict liability does not mean a plaintiff has a case. Most states require that manufacturers include instructions on how to use their products, so they may try to prove that the defendant didn’t read the instructions correctly.

Defects covered by strict liability

A design defect commonly occurs during the planning phase and increases the risk of injury. For example, a well-planned swivel chair could still have a risk of a seat breaking only after a few rotations due to poor design.

Manufacturing defects that deviate from the intended design occur during the making of the product, often unintentionally. For example, a manufacturer may accidentally make a batch of mattresses from the wrong materials, which poses a fire risk. Most manufacturers recall products after discovering the error, but the government can force a recall.

Sometimes, marketing defects cause injuries when there are no warning labels or poor instructions. Even if most people know that certain products pose an injury risk, such as tobacco or power tools, they should still come with warning labels and instructions.

Manufacturers are required by law to do their best to prevent defective products from being sold. People who feel negligence caused their injuries may be entitled to compensation.