Products liability refers to the liability of any or all parties along the chain of manufacture of a product that has caused serious damage or injury to a person or persons because the product’s inherent flaws rendered it hazardous. Liable parties can include the manufacturer of component parts (at the top of the chain), an assembling manufacturer, the wholesaler, and the retail storeowner (at the bottom of the chain). Plaintiffs in a products liability case are usually consumers that were injured by a defective or dangerous product that they purchased, borrowed, or were given.
Finch McCranie’s products liability lawyers have helped many Georgia clients who have sustained injuries because they used, were exposed to, or ingested a product that was defective, dangerous, or malfunctioned. One of our Atlanta, Georgia products liability lawyers would be happy to offer you a free case evaluation to discuss your products liability case.
Products Liability Claims and Lawsuits
When it comes to products liability cases, “products” can refer to tangible personal property (electronics, motor vehicles, home appliances, clothing), naturals (dogs, cats, and other pets), intangibles (gas), writings (instruction guides, navigational charts), and real estate (homes and other properties).
Depending on the jurisdiction where the case is filed, an injured party can file a products liability claim based on strict liability, negligence, or breach of warranty of fitness. Products liability law falls under common tort law (involving a state judge-made law) and the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC). The UCC’s Article 2 has been adopted by the majority of U.S. states and deals with the sale of products. In it, the most important products liability sections are the implied and express warranties of merchantibility in the sale of goods, §§ 2-314 and 2-315. Many states, including Georgia, have enacted comprehensive products liability statutes. Because of the diversity that exists among the different statutes, the United States Department of Commerce has established the Model Uniform Products Liability Act (MUPLA) for voluntary use by the states. There is no overall federal products liability law.
Three Kinds of Product Defects:
Regardless of the jurisdiction where the products liability injury or damage occurred, the plaintiff must always prove that the product caused injury, damage, or death because it was defective.
Design Defects: The product is defective because the design is defective and is therefore dangerous when used. Design defects are inherent; they exist before the product is manufactured.
Manufacturing Defects: The product became defective during manufacture, construction, or production and is now a hazard to consumers. Only a few out of many products of the same type are flawed in this case.
Marketing Defects: The manufacturer of a product marketed the product in such a way that the consumers were left uninformed of its potential dangers because of (a) a failure to warn or (b) the instructions for using or operating the product were incorrect or not written clearly.
Products liability is usually a “strict liability” wrong, which means that liability is not determined by whether or not the defendant was careful or negligent. A defendant is immediately liable in a products liability case if the plaintiff can prove that the product is defective and someone was injured as a result. It is irrelevant whether the manufacturer or supplier exercised great care; if there is a defect in the product that causes harm, they will be liable for it.
Please call Finch McCranie, LLP if you or someone close to you suffered serious personal injuries because of a defective product anywhere in Georgia. One of our experienced Atlanta, Georgia products liability lawyers will discuss your case with you during your free consultation. Call us at (800) 228-9159, or contact us online today.