What is at least one type of a product liability claim?

One type of product liability claim is based on the concept of “strict liability.” In a strict liability claim, the injured party (plaintiff) doesn’t necessarily need to prove that the manufacturer or seller was negligent. Instead, they only need to show that the product was defective and that the defect caused their injuries.

There are generally three types of defects that can lead to a strict liability claim:

  1. Design Defects:

    • A design defect occurs when there is an inherent flaw in the product’s design, making it unreasonably dangerous even when manufactured correctly. In a strict liability claim based on a design defect, the plaintiff argues that the entire product line is inherently flawed due to the design.
  2. Manufacturing Defects:

    • A manufacturing defect occurs when there is an error or mistake in the production process, causing some units of the product to deviate from the intended design. In a strict liability claim based on a manufacturing defect, the plaintiff typically argues that the specific product they purchased was defective.
  3. Failure-to-Warn Defects (Marketing Defects):

    • A failure-to-warn defect, also known as a marketing defect, arises when a product does not come with sufficient instructions or warnings about its proper use and potential risks. In a strict liability claim based on a failure-to-warn defect, the plaintiff argues that the lack of adequate warnings or instructions rendered the product unreasonably dangerous.

In all these cases, the key aspect of a strict liability claim is that the plaintiff does not need to prove that the manufacturer or seller was negligent; they only need to demonstrate the existence of a defect that caused their injuries. Strict liability is a legal doctrine aimed at ensuring that those who profit from placing products in the market bear the responsibility for any harm those products cause.

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