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An Overview: Strict Products Liability

You have probably heard of products liability in the context of broken toys, defective cars and medication side-effects. The basic gist is that if a company produces or sells a product that is defective, that company should be liable for any injuries they cause. Two broad theories regarding products liability cases are negligence and strict.

In a negligence products liability case the plaintiff must prove that the seller/manufacturer was at fault for your injury. Fault means that the defendant knew or should have known that the product was defective or dangerous. Furthermore, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant caused his or her injury.

In a strict products liability action, the plaintiff does not have to prove fault. The plaintiff only needs to prove that they purchased the product, that the defendant manufactures or sells product, the product was defective and he or she was injured due to the defect. The plaintiff does not need to prove that the defendant knew or should have known there was a defect. This greatly reduces the litigation strain on plaintiffs.

The defendant (corporation) may argue that the product was not used to its intended purpose. Conceptually, this makes sense, corporations cannot be held responsible every time someone tries to stand on a basketball and fall over. However, just because you didn't use it for its intended purpose, for example using a chair as a step-stool, you can still succeed if you can prove that the use was reasonably foreseeable. This is when having an attorney is useful because an attorney can help argue your position on these finer legal points.

If you or a family member was injured due to a defective product then you may have an actionable case and you may want to consult with an attorney. Even if the injury is relatively minor, your injury could be one of thousands. An attorney can go over the situation with you and lay out potential options to address the matter. It could be an individual lawsuit or perhaps even a class action suit. Sometimes only by working together can you and everyone force a company to stop selling a dangerous product.

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